Bud Cauley took a chance with his options to play in this year’s U.S. Open. Then he made his decision pay off.
Cauley, a junior at Alabama who announced earlier this year he would bypass his senior year and turn professional, was exempt from local U.S. Open qualifying as a member of the 2009 U.S. Walker Cup team.
The thing about that was he would have to remain an amateur to take advantage of it.
Instead, Cauley decided to roll the dice. Knowing he wanted his pro career to begin as soon as this year’s NCAA Championship ended for the Crimson Tide, Cauley entered local qualifying and successfully (he was medalist) advanced to sectionals.
On Monday, the first-team All-America punched his ticket to the U.S. Open at Congressional when he shot 12-under 132 (67-65) and tied for medalist honors with Sunghoon Kang. They led the 10 qualifiers from the field of 78 players at Tunica (Miss.) National Golf Club.
What that means is when Cauley tees it up at Congressional, he will be doing so as a professional, and thus will be entitled to keep any money he should win.