Brandon Crick already is in the whirlwind of golf’s U.S. Open.
“It’s been a crazy and hectic last few hours,” Crick said Monday after qualifying for next week’s championship.
“It feels amazing, after all the hard work I put in, grinding at it, that I finally got here. But I still have another assignment next week.”
Crick tied for sixth in the Memphis sectional, shooting a 36-hole score of 5-under-par 138 at Colonial Country Club.
The former University of Nebraska golfer from McCook, Neb., will be in the 156-man field for the U.S. Open that begins June 13 at Merion in suburban Philadelphia.
He will be the state’s first golfer in the U.S. Open since ex-Husker Scott Gutschewski in 2009. Gutschewski failed to qualify this year, missing out on a playoff by three strokes, at the sectional at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.
Crick never was over par Monday, shooting a 3-under 33 on his first nine and finishing the first 18 at 2 under.
“I played really well, putted extremely well,” he said. “I had Mike Coatman, one of my teammates from Nebraska, caddie for me and he did a good job on the bag. Afterward, he said it was some of the best golf he’d ever seen me play.”
What might have kept his day going, he said, was making a 30-footer for par on the fourth hole in the morning round.
“I hit a poor bunker shot and I had to make that putt to save par. If it doesn’t go in, it could have been a bad start,” he said. “It happened the next hole, I made a nice birdie putt and kept it rolling.”
He had a string of four birdies during his third nine holes to get to 5 under for the first time. He had a bogey and a birdie in his final nine.
Although a Golf Channel reporter greeted him after the last hole with the news that he was sure to qualify, “I still didn’t believe him,” Crick said. “I thought I’d have to wait until 9:30 to know.
“The wait was a little nerve-wracking. I think I wore out the refresh button on my phone (looking at score updates).”
Crick will return to Lincoln, where he’s living during the golf season, before going to the Open.
“I have some thinking to do the next few days,” he said.
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