Brother on the bag, McCarthy advances at U.S. Am
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – There’s no shortage of support for Denny McCarthy at the U.S. Amateur.
At the beginning of the week, it was McCarthy's immediate family – his mother, father and three siblings – in attendance after making the roughly 10-hour trek from Rockville, Md. During his quarterfinal victory over Roman Robledo Friday, his gallery also included four more relatives from Maryland and two of McCarthy’s closest golf buddies.
“I definitely felt the support,” said McCarthy. “It definitely took a little off me, just seeing them helped me relax before the round and get some smiles and laughs in. It definitely made me feel more comfortable.”
PHOTOS: 2014 U.S. Amateur (quarterfinals)
Check out some images from the 2014 U.S. Amateur quarterfinals at Atlanta Athletic Club.
A big reason for that comfort comes from having his 24-year-old brother Ryan on the bag this week at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Ryan has caddied for Denny, who is three years younger, ever since Denny was just a youngster learning the game of golf around Argyle Country Club in nearby Silver Spring, Md.
“Everyone knew from such a young age that Denny was going to be pretty good,” said Ryan, who is a CPA at an accounting firm in Maryland. “Everyone asks, ‘Are you jealous of your younger brother?’ No, it’s just how it is.”
That’s what makes their relationship so pure.
Their bond formed at a young age on the golf course just like it would for any brothers who share great skill at a game they love. Every summer, from sunup to sundown, the brothers could be found on the course, playing and practicing.
"They wouldn't want to come home," said their mother, Elena McCarthy.
Golf kept them close even as Ryan left to play college golf at Loyola (Md.). A few years later, Denny earned a scholarship at Virginia. He will begin his senior season this fall.
The dynamic duo was at it again Friday on the outskirts of Atlanta, as Denny downed Robledo of Harlingen, Texas, 3 and 2, to earn a trip to the semifinals for the first time in six U.S. Amateur appearances.
“This is the first time where I really stepped on the first tee and haven't really had that nervous or doubting feeling,” Denny said. “I've stepped up on the first tee feeling really comfortable with my game and my ability to go out and execute shots.”
Two weeks ago, Denny and Ryan along with two of their closest friends (the ones who drove through the night) played in the Washington Metropolitan Golf Association’s A-Team Matches, which take place over various dates in July and August. It’s an interclub match-play tournament between the top players from the different golf clubs in the area.
The team won its quarterfinal and semifinal matches before Denny left to compete in the Western Amateur in Chicago. After missing the cut at Beverly Country Club, Denny was able to make it back for the Aug. 2 championship match. Luckily for the team, he did – Denny sank a birdie putt in a playoff to win the A-Team championship.
Denny and Ryan both said playing and winning the A-Team title together is one of their fondest memories, and it’s something they will always cherish. But as Ryan said, “This one right now is pretty damn good, too.”