Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Congrats Bergie! Bergstol qualifies for U.S. Open

By Jared Trexler
The Phanatic Magazine

It makes me feel somewhat old.

I stood on the first tee at Shawnee's red course with a wide-eyed freshman who had heard about the golfing skills of his soon-to-be teammate (that would be me).

Brian was small, skinny and unpolished as a player. But you could tell.

I had a short, compact golf swing that left me when my emotions did. The combination was never a good one under pressure or during a stressful week outside the golf course.

Brian Bergstol's was long and athletic. God blessed him with the flexibility, the hand-eye coordination and an innate ability to make his way around the golf course with equal parts confidence and humility.

Brian knew he was good. So did I. He was better than me the first time I saw him strike a tee shot.

I didn't mind, however. Together, along with key contributions from several other team members, we won a second consecutive league division title.

And today, I'm in awe of him again. And proud.

I had nothing to do with Brian's success. His support group, led by father Bill, is first-class. His work ethic is extraordinary and his passion for the game is unrivaled.

I once told Brian I would see him on the PGA Tour one day. I wasn't joking.

Next week, Brian Bergstol will play in the United States Open at Torrey Pines -- a brutally difficult track that will make Shawnee on the Delaware look like a pitch-and-putt muni.

Regardless of what he shoots -- and I think he is plenty long and straight enough to post respectable numbers -- I offer him my congratulations.

I won't see you at Torrey Pines, Bergie. But when you step onto that first tee, I'll be watching and rooting.

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