PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the second straight year, former Drexel golfer, and Bensalem native, Chris Crawford has qualified for the U.S. Open as an amateur.
Crawford, who served as an undergraduate assistant coach at Drexel this year, punched his ticket to the Open by finishing tied for second at the sectional qualifier at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey back on June 4th. He finished the 36-hole event at 8-under.
Now last year, Crawford’s U.S. Open slot wasn’t clinched until he drained a 40-foot birdie putt on the 36th and final hole of the qualifier.
“I’m really glad that it was a lot more traditional, that last minute heroics weren’t needed this year,” Crawford tells KYW Newsradio. “The past two years at least, I’ve felt very comfortable at Canoe Brook, with the golf course and my game plan going into the event. So it was nice to get up there again, see the golf course and to get some of those familiar feelings back. My goal going into the event was really just to play solid, not make too many mistakes, try to get something going. I was fortunate to get a good round going in the morning. Then in the afternoon, was really just trying to focus on what I was doing and really just play as rock solid as I could.”
Crawford finished 12-over in two rounds at Oakmont at last year’s Open, missing the cut. He talks about whether having that experience of a year ago raises expectations for him this time around.
“I think you have to be careful sometimes with expectations,” he says. “But I definitely would agree that in some ways it’s definitely changed having gone through it last year. I definitely have more of an understanding of what it takes, how to prepare, how to handle everything. The goal is definitely to go out there and try to prepare as best as I can and try to compete and let it fall where it may.”
This year’s U.S. Open will be played at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, a course that Crawford is familiar with.
“I played the 2011 U.S. Amateur there,” he says. “Which was my first USGA event, I was 17. I’m sure the golf course is going to be a little different this time around and my golf game is obviously a lot different than it was six years ago. But it’s a very big golf course, I guess is one of the best ways I could put it. It’s long, it’s a very big, vast property. Almost the polar opposite of Oakmont last year, where you had a very traditional venue with a lot of nasty bunkers and long rough.”
Crawford has a tee time of 8:46am for the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday.