VANDALIA — Butler High School sophomore Austin Greaser is 36 holes of golf away from qualifying for one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world.
Greaser fired a 1-under 71 at Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington, KY last Thursday in a U.S. Open local qualifying tournament. That score was enough to send Greaser to the sectional qualifier in either Columbus or Springfield on June 5.
The 117th U.S. Open will be held June 15-18 at Erin Hills in Erin, WI.
Qualifying wasn’t easy. Greaser had to birdie the final two holes to get to one under par which placed him in playoff with eight other golfers in a playoff for the final four qualifying slots.
Greaser birdied the first playoff hole to advance.
“It was a tough day,” said Greaser. “The winds were up around 18-20 miles per hour and they had the tees back. That’s not fun to play in but everyone else had to play in the same conditions.”
Greaser said playing 36 holes in one day is a grind.
“You don’t think about that though, you just go out and play,” said the 16-year old. “You take it hole by hole, shot by shot.”
Greaser thanked school officials for working with him with absences he’s had due to an illness and his golf schedule.
“Our Principal Mr. Luebbe and our Athletic Director Jordan Shumaker have really worked with us a lot and I really appreciate that,” he said. “Some of these things wouldn’t be able to happen without that. The way they worked with us was amazing and I’m thankful they did.”
He said the support he’s gotten from the community has been appreciated.
“The support I’ve gotten has been unreal,” said Greaser. “It seems like a lot more people know me and that’s a pretty cool feeling. I’m excited.”
Greaser has a busy summer planned playing multiple tournaments including Junior Golf, the Hudson Invitational in Cleveland, and, hopefully, qualifying for the U.S. Junior Open sponsored by the U.S. Golf Association, the same organization that puts on the U.S. Open. He also hopes to qualify for the Ohio Amateur and the U.S. Amateur tournaments.
“It’s really busy, and probably will go by pretty fast,” he said.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.