On June 6, former Eastern Michigan University golfer Casey Olsen traveled to Springfield Ohio to compete in the US Open Sectionals. Olsen scored a 72 in each round of the two-day tournament.
Unfortunately, he was unable to advance to the Open with those scores.
Olsen was happy with his performance and said he viewed it as a learning experience.
He began the tournament short two crucial clubs.
“Two days prior to playing in US Open Sectionals, both my main driver and my back-up driver cracked. The faces caved in,” Olsen said. “Since I knew that the venue was going to be playing short I decided to play without my driver and hit my three wood off every tee. I didn’t feel like wasting two days getting used to a new driver, instead I decided to commit to the equipment I know and trust and focus my practice time, as I’ve done all spring, on my short-game and putting.”
Olsen adjusted, adding his hybrid driver to his bag. He said, despite the change, he was not as nervous as he expected to be.
“Oddly, I didn’t really feel nervous at all,” he said. “However, my overall play wasn’t as polished as I had been in the weeks prior. I played well but just didn’t put it all together to produce low scores.”
Olsen played alongside some tough competition during the tournament, including Clark Klaasen from Grand Rapids, formerly of Duke University. In addition, he played against Andy Winings who has competed on the Web.com tour.
“Clark played in the 2009 US Open at Bethpage Black and Andy made over 60k last year on the Web.com Tour. So, obviously they are great players that just didn’t have their best game that day,” Olsen said.
According to Olsen, Klaasen and Winings seemed to be pretty impressed with his play.
“Clark told me he was in awe at the way I hit the golf ball,” Olsen said. “I seriously was overwhelmed by the compliment. On the 36th hole of the day I hit an amazing shot from the trees to within 12 feet of the hole and Andy told me I was ‘dirty.’ It was cool and certainly satisfying to feel the respect of good players.”
Olsen enjoyed the experience and is looking forward to the rest of the summer of tournaments.
“The overall experience was fun and if anything, I proved to myself that I’m capable of playing with those guys,” he said. “I know what I need to work on and I thought it was a great start to the summer. I’m excited for the next few tournaments coming up.”
Stay with The Eastern Echo for more updates on Olsen as he tackles more tournaments this summer. He heads to Muskegon, Mich. from June 18-22 to compete in the Michigan Amateur Tournament.
Follow Andrew Armbruster on Twitter: @AArmbrusterEcho