After shooting a bogey,double-bogey on the 14th and 15th holes on the final day of the US Open sectional qualifying at the Emerald Valley Golf Course in Eugene, Brandon McIver’s hopes of playing in the US Open at Pinehurst, N.C. seemed to be dashed. He finished just one stroke shy of an automatic bid at the tournament’s end and was the first alternate coming out of Eugene and the third alternate overall.
However, McIver’s luck quickly changed after receiving a phone call Sunday from the United States Golf Association, notifying him that he would be playing at the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club for the 114th installation of the US Open.
“I was just ecstatic,” McIver told Goducks.com.
The Billings, Mont. native will become the first active Oregon golfer under Casey Martin to play in the US Open and is also the first, current or former Duck, to play in the open since Ben Crane did it in 2012.
The junior earned this opportunity after only one player from the PGA Tour and European Tour received an exemption to play at the tournament by virtue of the latest world rankings. He will be in good company as well, with Stanford’s Cameron Wilson, the 2014 NCAA Men’s Golf Medalist, joining him.
Not only that, McIver is paired with Maverick McNealy of Stanford and Smylie Kaufman, a recent graduate of LSU who was at the NCAA Championships with both McIver and Nealy. The group is scheduled to tee off on Thursday, June 12, at 5:46 a.m. (PDT).
Van Williams, a native of North Carolina and a first year assistant as Oregon’s golf coach, will be in Pinehurst with the McIver along with Jake Hedge, who will serve as his caddie.
Evidently so, McIver will be in a different realm than he is used to as the this week’s practice rounds begin. Playing in one of the major tournaments on the PGA Tour, McIver, along with 11 other amateurs, will be in a field full of the best golfers in the world.
“We’re just thrilled and excited for Brandon,” head coach Casey Martin said to Goducks.com. “It’s an incredible opportunity, a once in a lifetime opportunity. Regardless of how he does, he’ll become a better golfer having competed in the U.S. Open.”
Follow Justin Wise on Twitter @JWISE25