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Rugby man experiences U.S. Opens

By Staff | Jul 4, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT John M. Gustafson, of Rugby, shares about 100 signatures he received at the men’s and women’s U.S. Open Championships at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C.

For a number of years I had a number of things in my mind I wanted to accomplish – my “bucket list”, so to speak. One of those things was to see a professional golf event. Last year while surfing the net, I discovered that the U.S. Open Golf Championship would combine the men’s and women’s championships together for the first time in golf history. I had all the information when I called a friend to see if he also was interested in going to Pinehurst, N.C.

He said he was most interested and now the rest is history. While at the tournament we collected over 80 autographs each. Some of the autographs were amateurs, but most were PGA and LPGA professionals. The autographs were neat, but the opportunity to see up close the people I see on TV week after week was an incredible experience. Now, when I see them on television I can say that I saw them up close and had a conversation with some of them.

We sat in on interviews with Martin Kaymer, Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez and were part of a photo-op with Billy Horschel. We were at the 9th hole when Zach Johnson made his hole-in-one, and at 14 when Kenny Perry made his eagle.

Just to be at the tournament was great, but to experience all we experienced was terrific. I will always remember those two weeks the rest of my life and look back with fond memories of that time in my life. We both were impressed by everyone in North Carolina, both at the tournament and every place we went.

If you love golf or just like golf, my suggestion would be to try to go to a professional tournament. I’m sure that it will be for you as it was for me, something you will remember for the rest of your life.

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