June 20, 2010
Pebble Beach, Calif. -
Scott Langley's epic month of June continued this weekend at Pebble Beach. For the 21-year old from Manchester, Mo., success could have been defined by winning the NCAA Championship or claiming the one and only spot available at the St. Louis U.S. Open qualifier. Making the U.S. Open is something that most aspiring players want to achieve at some time in their lives, but the University of Illinois not only qualified, but made the cut, posted two rounds of par or better at the most well known course in the country, then finished in the top 20 and tied for low amateur of the Championship.
Langley completed the tournament with rounds of 75-69-77-71 to finish at +8 for the championship, ahead of such names as Sergio Garcia (+9), Angel Cabrera (+9), Tom Watson (+11), Vijay Singh (+13), David Duval (+18) and the most famous Illinois alum on tour Steve Stricker (+15) and tied with Lee Westwood and Jim Furyk.
Langley leaves Monday to represent the U.S. in the Palmer Cup.
A look back at the U.S. Open experience in his own words:
What was the approach going in?
I really just tried to focus on having fun and enjoying it. I wanted to stick to my guns and my game plan, to play smart and not shoot myself in the foot. Just from watching the U.S. Open on TV, it seemed that could happen easily. I wanted to play really smart and keep the ball below the hole. That fortunately is what ended up happening.
What was the best advice that Steve Stricker gave you during the practice round this week?
I would say to pace myself for sure. It's a long week. I got there early. I knew that going it, but he just reinforced it. He always told me not to put too much pressure on myself. He was very supportive the whole week.
What were the most memorable holes, shots for the week?
Probably the second day, my six iron on No. 10 and my five iron on 17. Today, the birdie putt on No. 7. The par putt on 18 was awesome also. I knocked it in and got a standing ovation.
At what point did you feel this could be a strong week for you?
I would say the back nine on Friday when I started making birdies and moving up the leader board. It was at that time that I thought I could play and my game was good enough to compete at this level. It put me over the edge and gave me the confidence to play the weekend.
What was the coolest part of playing in this year's U.S. Open?
The whole week was filled with amazing moments, not only playing the tournament itself, but also playing practice rounds with Tom Watson, Steve Stricker, Justin Leonard, Scott Verplank and Davis Love. To play with some of the greatest players in the world and some of the best of all time was something I'll never forget.
Talk about Friday's round when you strung together five birdies on the back nine?
It's funny because the day before, I played that stretch just awful. I hit some good shots close, started making putts and just didn't make any mistakes. It's a slim margin really between making birdies and having a tough up and down for par. I started to feel more comfortable and hit a lot of good shots.
How were you able to get your momentum back after a tough day on Saturday?
Today I was playing okay at the start, but started to pick it up on the back nine. To birdie 14 and 15 was huge because coming down the stretch those holes are hard to even par.
How many supporters did you have? Who?
The fans were incredible, not only the people that I have known - my family, my girlfriend and her family mom, friends and teammates. The overall support was overwhelming. A lot fans were cheering `Go Illini.' It was unreal.
Has it sunk in yet that you just finished in the top 20 at the U.S. Open?
Not quite yet. It will soon.
How can you sum up this experience?
Incredible. It was a week I'll never forget. It was an amazing week for me. If you told me I was going to get 16th in the U.S. Open coming in, I don't know what I would have said. I'm very happy for how it turned out.
For the complete leaderboard, visit U.S. Open.com