Austin Eckroat said Sunday evening he knows the eyes of Edmond will be on him this weekend.
The 20-year-old Edmond North alumnus and Oklahoma State junior will compete in the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California starting Thursday.
“Edmond has always been known as kind of a golfing community,” Eckroat said. “So, you know, I’ve got a lot of people at home rooting for me.”
Eckroat, who was born and grew up in Edmond, qualified for the U.S. Open at the Dallas, Texas sectional qualifier on May 20 by means of a 3-for-2 playoff for the ninth and tenth spots in the qualifier. It was his first trip to sectionals.
Eckroat birdied the playoff hole after landing in a fairway bunker with his first shot, then chipping his way into the hole with his second shot.
After competing in the U.S. Amateur last year and missing the final match-play spot by a single stroke, Eckroat said he is ready to establish himself amongst some of the most talented golfers in the world.
Competing against Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and a host of their contemporaries, Eckroat will have the chance to do just that.
“I’m really excited to play against those guys,” said Eckroat. “I really get to see where my game is compared to them and hopefully do well.”
Eckroat even nodded at an upcoming professional career.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Eckroat. “For everything coming up in the future, A good week here will do a lot for me.”
Eckroat’s excellence since winning a trio of team titles and an individual title at North continued once he arrived in Stillwater.
A member of Oklahoma State’s 2018 National Championship team, Eckroat played a pivotal role for the Cowboys, especially in its sweep against Alabama for the title as he finished in 19th as an individual in the NCAA Championship.
He received honorable mention All-America honors at the conclusion of his freshman season.
“Oklahoma State the last two years has been unbelievable,” said Eckroat. “We’ve won a lot of golf tournaments and had probably one of the better runs in the last three years in college golf.”
Eckroat said playing against and alongside the best amateur golfers in the country while at Oklahoma State will lend him experience at the U.S. Open.
Eckroat’s tee-time is set for 3:03 Thursday afternoon on the tenth hole at Pebble Beach....