U.S. Open: Loar finally gets a major berth
He has traveled an odyssey through Asia and every mini-tour imaginable to make the PGA Tour as a 34-year-old rookie. So it’s only fitting that Edward Loar would ride a roller-coaster to secure his first major-championship berth.
2012 U.S. Open Sectionals
Check out photos from all 11 U.S. Open sectional sites around the United States.
“It was pretty exciting. Had a little bit of everything,” Loar said after backing up his course-record 65 at Scioto Country Club with a 75 at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course to nail down one of 16 spots at a U.S. Open sectional in Columbus, Ohio.
Loar finished 36 holes at 1-under 140, but given the second tee time, it meant that he had plenty of time to stand and stare at the numbers . . . and stare . . . and stare. “You never know. I looked for a long while, but I kept thinking they were hard golf courses and hard conditions.”
His morning effort at Scioto featured an eagle at his third hole, the par-5 12th, five birdies and two bogeys. It had him tied for low score with an afternoon 18 to play, but Loar has toiled in this pro-golf business for 12 years now, so it’s not like he felt he was home-free. Loar made the short ride to the Ohio State campus course and though things didn’t go as he would have scripted it, he survived.
“I had a triple bogey, a double bogey, four bogeys, three birdies, and an eagle,” Loar said, laughing. It added up to a 4-over 75, and Loar returned to Scioto to begin the long, nervous wait. When eight scores lower than 140 were returned, it was a most anxious time, but in the end, storied Scioto and the Scarlet Course were the winners.
“I tell you, they could both hold a Tour event tomorrow," Loar said. "They were that good, and the greens were smoking hot."
Tied for ninth with four others, Loar finally could relax and embrace the achievement. He has won tournaments on the Asian Tour and been a dominant player on the mini-tour circuits, but it wasn’t until last year’s Q-School that Loar finally realized his dream of PGA Tour membership. Qualifying for his major championship is yet another dream come true for the one-time Oklahoma State standout, “the Big E from the Big D,” as the Dallas native is known to friends and teammates.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Loar, who hopes to get a chance to tee it up in Sunday’s final round at The Olympic Club. He can’t think of a better way to celebrate his first Father’s Day (triplets William, James and Collins were born Sept. 5) than as a competitor in the U.S. Open.
Of course, he realizes he’ll have to turn things around on the course. In 10 tournaments, he has earned only three checks, and though he did win one of his four Nationwide Tour starts, it’s the PGA Tour where Loar is focused.
“I haven’t played as well as I’ve wanted," he said, "but maybe this will jump-start me."