Aug 12, 2013, 12:31 PM EST
Tim McDonnell recently sat down with current CAA men’s golfer Chris Crawford of Drexel to talk about qualifying for the 2013 U.S. Men’s Golf Amateur Championship held in Brookline, Mass., from Aug. 12-18.
Chris Crawford – Rising sophomore, Drexel
TM – Chris, first of all, talk about the general qualifying rounds. Overbrook Golf Course/Radnor Valley Country Clubs are challenging courses, pretty well known. How were your nerves and expectations?
CC – Both Overbrook and Radnor Valley are similarly difficult tests of golf. They are traditional facilities, and outstanding old line clubs. I had this event circled from the beginning of summer, and my expectations entering the event were to compete and put myself in a good position to qualify. Fortunately, I was able to keep my game in control coming down the stretch, and play good enough golf to finish off a difficult day.
TM – This is your second appearance in the U.S. Amateur in three years. That has to be a nice feeling, individually, especially knowing a little bit more of what to expect.
CC – Playing in the Amateur in 2011 was a truly awesome experience. I enjoyed every second of the time I was at the tournament and wanted very much so to get back as soon as possible. I have to say that I have been more excited in anticipation of returning to the Amateur for a second time this year. Last time, I was not quite ready with my game to compete at that level. I am hoping to change that this year. But much about the tournament is enjoying the little things; the unique aspects that make it one of the best golf tournaments in the world.
TM – What types of advantages do you think you have over other golfers who maybe haven’t played in the Amateur or bigger events?
CC – I am not sure if I have any advantage over any of the other competitors I will be joining next week at The Country Club. Having played in the Amateur before, I will feel more comfortable returning for sure, but these are the best amateur players in the world. Many of them know what to expect just as well as I do. I just can’t wait to join them all and get at it out on the course.
TM – You are one of three CAA golfers in the tournament, although Charleston hasn’t played in the CAA yet, will you try and get in touch with the other players when you arrive?
CC – I know Charleston is an excellent golf program and I am looking forward to getting the chance to compete against them over the next few years. While I do not have plans to contact any players directly, I am looking forward to getting the chance to meet them and hopefully welcome them to the conference.
TM – You were the 2013 CAA Rookie of the Year, that’s a great accomplishment in general. How’s the summer / off-season been thus far?
CC – I have really enjoyed this off-season so far. I’ve gotten the opportunity to relax at home, and to play a lot of golf and work on my game. Winning Rookie of the Year was a nice accomplishment and I am proud of what I was able to do in my freshman season. Hopefully, I can continue to build and develop my game going forward into next season.
TM – A Pennsylvania product, going to school at somewhat nearby Drexel, what does that mean to you? Especially now that you will be representing the Dragons and the CAA on a huge stage at the Championship.
CC – This is something that really means a lot to me. Coming out of high school, I was a relative unknown, and was given a tremendous opportunity from Coach Mike Dynda and Drexel University to a place where I could continue to develop my game. I will have a great sense of pride in bringing my yellow Drexel golf bag to The Country Club and hope to be a good representative of the CAA, my hometown of Bensalem, Pa., and the city of Philadelphia.
TM – What are your thoughts about The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.? Have you seen or played the course? I’m sure you realize the history and atmosphere it has, as well as the reputation of the course.
CC – The Country Club is a mecca of American golf. One of the five founding charter clubs of the USGA, it is one of the oldest and most historical sites in the United States. It was of great inspiration to me in my desire to play well enough to qualify this year, and to make the most of my opportunity to play at such an incredible venue. On the 100th Anniversary of perhaps the most influential singular event in American golf history, the 1913 US Open triumph by Francis Ouimet over Vardon and Ray, it is a truly great honor to be able to play in the Amateur at The Country Club and I cannot wait to see the golf course.
Live scoring updates for the Amateur can be found here.
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