Holing out for eagle on the last hole of U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Hawks Ridge proved monumental for Davis Love III’s kid, Dru.
Turns out, what started in Ball Ground will finish up at Erin Hills (Wis.) after all. Jarring that shot propelled Love into a playoff for a first alternate spot – which he won with a par on the first hole. A redshirt senior at Alabama, from Sea Island, Love was one of five alternates from sectional sites scattered around the country to be shoehorned into this Open field. He’s scheduled to tee off at 6:56 a.m. Thursday
And he’ll have plenty of experience on the bag. His father, a two-time Ryder Cup Captain, winner of the 1997 PGA Championship and 21 PGA Tour events, will caddie. It’s Love’s 24th U.S. Open appearance, but his first in which he is doing the heavy lifting.
“I'm excited for him,” Love III told the Associated Press Sunday afternoon, as his son teed off for a practice round with Jim Furyk. “I've played with a bunch of 19- and 20-year-olds. But it makes me feel old that he's playing.”
Love, whose best Open showing was as a runner-up in 1996, was spurred by his son to try to qualify for one more this year. Playing at the stout Columbus, Ohio, qualifier, he missed out by eight shots.
Being at the season’s second major in a different role might lead to some interesting exchanges with his peers, like the one reported by AP Sunday between Love and two-time U.S. Open winner Ernie Els. The exchange went something like this:
“Hey, caddie!” Els called out to Love.
“I finally found a job,” Love replied.
“Ryder Cup captain. PGA champion. Caddie. I think you finally found something,” Els said with a smile.