With temperatures within the mid-90s, and hundreds of cicadas striving to simulate the noise stage of the loudest jet engine, the U.S. Open closing qualifying occasion in Rockville, Md., was not solely a take a look at of a participant’s expertise however his persistence and focus over 9 to 10 grueling hours.
Nonetheless, amid the lengthy odds of 74 gamers competing Monday over 36 holes at Woodmont Nation Membership for 4 spots within the nationwide championship, Chris Crawford stayed regular and captured a ticket to his third U.S. Open.
Crawford, 27, a three-time first-team All-CAA participant at Drexel, fired rounds of 70 and 69 for a 5-under-par 139 complete to qualify for the championship starting June 17 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. Crawford competed within the 2016 Open at Oakmont close to Pittsburgh and within the 2017 Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin.
“It’s unbelievable,” the Bensalem native mentioned Tuesday over the phone. “Actually, I used to be getting nervous, however I used to be making an attempt to remind myself that it was enjoyable. I all the time say that the U.S. Open sectional day is a number of the most enjoyable you’ll be able to have as a aggressive golfer, whether or not an beginner or professional, simply the very fact you get to get up within the morning and have 36 holes for the possibility to qualify for a significant.
“It’s a really satisfying feeling if you sort of give all of it on a day like that and are capable of play nicely. You simply really feel so mentally and emotionally drained when it’s over however in a great way, a satisfying means.”
» READ MORE: Sunnybrook Golf Membership assistant professional Brett Walker prepares for his first PGA Championship
Crawford, who turned skilled in October 2017, was well-prepared for the warmth with the assistance of his caddie, Drexel coach Ben Feld, packing meals and Gatorade in his bag with loads of bottled water accessible on the course.
Crawford carded three straight birdies on the entrance 9 of his afternoon spherical to get to 6-under and in the midst of the battle for an Open invitation. His solely blemish on his final 10 holes was a 3-putt bogey on the par-3 sixteenth, however he held on with a two-foot par save at No. 17 and a two-putt from “50 to 60 toes” at 18 to safe his spot.
“I used to be actually nervous down the stretch there, particularly when it was solely a two-footer on the finish,” he mentioned. “However after all, you’re shaking somewhat bit over one thing like that, and the lag putt, too. You’re simply making an attempt to remain as current as potential and hold working via the routine and belief your self.”
» READ MORE: Scott McNeil has loved success in native golf competitions on private and non-private programs
His first introduction to the cicadas was about two weeks in the past when he performed a apply spherical at Woodmont. The bugs ramped up the annoyance stage Monday by flying into Crawford and the opposite contestants.
“They sort of dive bomb into you, so I used to be selecting cicadas off my shirt and my legs all day principally,” he mentioned. “It’s so loud in some spots on the golf course which you could’t hear anything. However if you spend all day on the market, it sort of turns into white noise within the background.”
Crawford, who performs largely mini-tour occasions, has missed the 36-hole reduce in his two Opens however hopes to recall the great recollections from these appearances when he arrives subsequent week at Torrey Pines. That very same plan Monday helped him get there.
“I performed higher this time, far more strong and extra polished of a spherical,” he mentioned. “There’s little question the expertise is a big assist.”