Little-known Preeo lives his dream at Pebble

Jason Preeo hits a shot at during his U.S. Open practice round.


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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The U.S. Open is famous for the diversity of its field. For every Tiger Woods there is a Jason Preeo, who is unknown and probably will stay that way.

An argument could be made, though, that Preeo is just as essential to the game of golf as Woods. A 31-year-old teaching pro from Highlands Ranch, Colo., Preeo is making contributions to the game that go far beyond his personal visibility.

As golf coach at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Preeo guided his team to the Class 4A state championship last fall. “I like helping the kids,” he said simply.

Preeo remains all year in Colorado, teaching indoors at MetaGolf Learning Center in Englewood and motivating as many golfers as he can.

He had tried “probably a dozen times” to qualify for the U.S. Open, and this year he finally made it, tying for medalist honors in the sectional qualifier. Playing at Columbine Country Club in Littleton, Colo., he posted scores of 65 and 71 to achieve his dream.

Then he opened with rounds of 75 and 70 here at Pebble Beach. That was good for a tie for 16th, although he tumbled down the leaderboard with a third-round 82.

Preeo’s caddie was fellow teaching professional Scotty Hofer, also an instructor at the MetaGolf Learning Center. Those who respect the dedication of golf teachers should be rooting hard for this twosome.

Tiger Woods and Steve Williams they aren’t, but they may be just as important to golf in the big picture.

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