Eastern Florida State College employee Bret Burroughs has qualified to play in the U.S. Senior Open June 27-30 in Notre Dame, Indiana.
Burroughs, who is a groundskeeper at the Fred Gay Golf Academy Driving Range in Cocoa, was the medalist at a Sectional qualifier at Lone Palm Golf Course in Lakeland May 30 after shooting a 69. The win automatically puts him in the field for the U.S. Senior Open that will be held on the Warren Course at Notre Dame.
"I had a really solid round but I wasn't sure it was going to hold up, but I knew I shot well. Sure enough, eight players came in a tie for second with 70s and I took the medalist spot," Burroughs said.
Burroughs has been playing golf since he was 11 years old and this will be the sixth USGA National Championship event that he has played in. The 56-year-old from Orlando has played in two USGA Junior Championships, a U.S. Public Links event, the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Open as a 21-year-old and now the U.S. Senior Open.
"They have all been milestones in my playing life and I am very thankful that I have been able to have these experiences," Burroughs said. "It means a lot to me to qualify for the Senior Open, it was a goal I set for myself when I was 48 years old and recommitted to playing the game of golf. This was one of the things I wanted to achieve, and of course play well once I get there. It really won't mean nearly as much if I don't play well."
Burroughs has been at Eastern Florida State College for two years as the groundskeeper at the driving range and is excited to have the opportunity to play golf against the best in the world.
"It is a star-studded lineup. The best 50-plus year old players in the world will be there and I am very excited," said Burroughs who was one of the 64 golfers to qualify for the Senior Open. "I am excited to test myself and see how I perform on that stage."
Burroughs will be playing against some of the best players to pick up golf clubs including 2014 Senior Open champion Colin Montgomerie, Davis Love III, Fred Couples, Mark Calcavecchia and many other top players in the world.
The first round is on June 27 but Burroughs plans to go up a week early to get acclimated to the area and prepare for the tournament.
"I will be doing a lot of wedge play, get my reps in and try to mentally see myself performing in those situations," Burroughs said. "I am just really excited for the opportunity. None of this would be possible if it wasn't for the support of my wife Heather and supervisor Nate Herman."