Chris Crawford did it again.
Crawford, a former Joseph H. Patterson Cup Champion (2015) and Drexel University standout, qualified for his third U.S. Open Championship in the last six years. He did so by tying for third in a 36-hole U.S. Open Final Qualifying Monday at Woodmont Country Club’s North Course. He finished at 5-under par 139. The Top 4 players from the field of 71 advance. The 121st U.S. Open takes place June 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif.
Crawford also qualified for the U.S. Open in 2016 and 2017.
“It feels great, and it was exhilarating even though I was exhausted,” Crawford said. “I was drinking as much water and Gatorade as I could.” Crawford said, mentioning the difficulty in dealing with oppressive temperatures in the 90 degree range.
He posted a 2-under-par 70 in the opening 18 holes. In his second round, he made three straight pars to start before carding four birdies over the next five holes to move into contention. He closed with nine pars and a bogey over his last 10 holes.
“I always like playing 36 holes because I think it’s easier mentally,” Crawford, who graduated from Drexel in 2017, added. “If you have a bad shot, it’s easier to move on since there is so much more golf ahead of you.”
Crawford’s steady approach came with a familiar face on the bag, Ben Feld, his close friend and Drexel’s men’s golf coach. Feld, who caddied for Crawford in his other two successful qualifying attempts, provided the necessary comfort level.
“He did a fantastic job yesterday, and I wouldn’t have been able to make it through without him,” Crawford said. “He knows my game and process so well that our familiarity with each other gave me an edge in playing yesterday.”
Crawford cited a par save on No. 11 (par 4, 390 yards) during his second round as a significant moment. He found trouble left off the tee but saved par when he hit a wedge from 85 yards to three feet.
“It was pretty huge for me mentally to not drop a shot there,” said Crawford, 27, who splits time living in Bensalem, Pa., as well as Florida. “It looked like it was going to be at least a bogey, but surviving that hole was significant.”
Crawford turned professional in the fall of 2017. He currently competes on the West Florida Golf Tour and the GProTour. Crawford also has status on the PGATOUR Latinoamerica.
“I had some varying degrees of success over the past couple of years,” Crawford said. “It’s tough because there are so many good players, and you have to play well at that level to advance.”
This will be Crawford’s first trip to Torrey Pines. He’s also hoping for another first: A made cut. In Crawford’s other two appearances he has failed to make the weekend. In 2017 at Erin Hills he carded a pair of 75s to miss the cut by four strokes.
“I’ve never been there before, but I have memories of watching Tiger Woods win the 2008 U.S. Open on TV,” Crawford said. “That’s how I’m a little familiar with the course, and I think it’s an amazing historic venue which is different from the previous U.S. Open venues I played at.
“I’m just going to go out and try to have a good week. This event is a lot of fun; I want to cherish it and enjoy the opportunity.”
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.