When looking back at last week’s U.S. Open, most people will look back at Northern Ireland native Rory McIlroy’s record-setting performance in which he shot under 70 in all four rounds and won by eight stokes.
MTSU standout Brett Patterson became the first Blue Raider golfer to compete in a major. The rising sophomore played in the 2011 U.S. Open June 16-19. (Photo submitted.)
But most won’t think of golf’s premier event’s connection to MTSU.
Not only will former Blue Raider golfer J.P. Fitzgerald remember being McIlroy’s caddie, but MTSU standout Brett Patterson will also remember the 2011 event as a dream come true. He became the first Blue Raider to compete in the major.
“It was a great experience for me and my family,” Patterson said. “I will take a lot from it and hope to become a better player.”
The rising sophomore shot a 77 in the first round, and a 78 in the second on the Par 71 Congressional Country Club in Maryland. However, the Blue Raider amateur missed the cut.
“It was the small things that hurt me,” Patterson said when talking his performance during golf’s toughest test. “It was not too bad playing in my first U.S. Open.”
Playing in one of the sport’s major tournaments meant, the education major had a chance to see the world’s best in action and he even got a chance to meet some of them.
Earlier in the week, Patterson got to play a practice round with Retief Goosen.
Also fellow professionals, Jonathan Byrd and Steve Stricker introduced themselves to Patterson during tournament week.
Patterson said in a chat with Golfweek Magazine a day before the tournament started meeting the pros really impressed him the most.
At the same time, Patterson said he did not try to turn his experience into a meet and greet with all of the other golfers.
He like all of the other players was too busy focusing on their game and getting prepared to tackle one of the toughest courses in the nation.
“I can appreciate what Rory did,” Patterson said. “If you can drive it in the fairway, you have a great chance to get a good score.”
Brett added he wants to take what he learned from playing in golf’s second major of the season and apply that in future events.
“That is about the biggest stage in the sport,” he said. “It makes me want to work harder to get back to that point.”
This week, Patterson is back in action in Rhode Island for the Northeast Amateur tournament.
The following week, he will compete in the U.S Public Links event with one of his fellow teammates, Jason Millard.