Bryant ready for U.S. Senior Open

Published 1:48 am Thursday, July 29, 2010

SEATTLE — Tom Bryant can think of only one way to describe his experience at the U.S. Senior Open.

“What else do you want me to say other than this is awesome?” Bryant said. “It’s absolutely awesome.”

Bryant, the Beau Pré Country Club golf pro, is the only Mississippian participating in the major U.S. Golf Association tournament after he won a qualifying tournament earlier this month.

The tournament will take place at Sahalee Country Club outside Seattle, on a course Bryant said is extremely difficult.

“(Senior PGA pro) Lee Janzen had a quote in the local paper that said the only analogy he could give of the course was to go to New York City and tee off down Fifth Avenue,” Bryant said. “That’s how narrow the fairways are.”

But while the course has been difficult during practice rounds, the experience of playing in a major tournament more than makes up for it.

He’s even getting some experience signing autographs.

“We’ve had galleries every practice round and the people following us want our autographs,” Bryant said. “They don’t know who I am, they just want autographs. Lots of them are kids who want a flag or cap signed. I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been fun.”

Bryant has been around many professional players he has watched on television for years, but said he isn’t one for getting star struck.

“I’ve never been the star struck kind of person,” Bryant said. “I played a practice round (Wednesday) with Craig Stadler and probably played the best I have since I’ve been here.”

Bryant will begin his tournament at 4:20 p.m. central time, and hopes to improve his play from his practice rounds.

“My main goal is just to play well, represent myself well and represent Natchez well,” Bryant said. “I’ve never felt like I was more in my element since I’ve been here. I feel like this is where I belong.”