WHEW. HE MADE IT.
Last month Pat Perez told ARMCHAIR GOLF, “This year it’s all about the U.S. Open. I have to get in there. That’s the biggest of the bigs for me. Back home in San Diego, that’s my main goal in life right now.”
When I asked him what it would mean to play the U.S. Open in his hometown, he replied, “Everything. Seriously.”
There was a catch. Then ranked No. 58 in the world, Double P needed to climb to No. 50 to avoid the perils of sectional qualifying. Despite a strong Colonial and Memorial, Pat only got halfway there, to No. 54.
On Monday Perez teed it up with 140 or so players in the Columbus, Ohio, sectional qualifier to vie for 23 spots. Pat's 71-67-138 made it by a shot.
Now that’s pressure, especially for someone who said he’d rather qualify to play in the U.S. Open in his hometown than win his first tournament.
Also in through the Columbus qualifier are PGA Tour players Carl Pettersson (medalist), Davis Love, Bart Bryant, Ben Crane, Jesper Parnevik, Rocco Mediate, Chad Campbell, Nick Watney, Dean Wilson, Joe Ogilvie, Robert Garrigus, Steve Marino and Fredrik Jacobson.
Alas, Fred Couples didn’t make it.
-The Armchair Golfer