Bryant finishes up dream week at U.S. Senior Open

Published 12:21 am Saturday, July 31, 2010

SEATTLE — Tom Bryant spent a week living every golfer’s dream, and while he might not have played as well as he would have liked, his experience at the U.S. Senior Open was second to none.

Bryant concluded his week of a lifetime by shooting a second-round 79 to finish with a two-day total of 158, or 18 over par, missing the cut by eight strokes.

But while his score might be forgettable, his memories of his first major championship tournament will last a lifetime.

“It was a hell of an experience,” Bryant said. “I was in an environment I was totally comfortable with and would love to do forever. I don’t know how to explain it. The whole week was just awesome.”

Bryant was playing in only his third ever United States Golf Association event, but said nerves never got to him, just bad ball striking.

“I thought nerves might be a problem with my short game, but that was good,” Bryant said. “I was good around the greens. But ball striking let me down. On this golf course (Sahalee Country Club), the fairways are extremely narrow, the rough is extremely high and the trees are extremely big. You hit a wayward shot and you’re in trouble.”

After shooting a 79 in Thursday’s first round, Bryant got off to a very bad start in Friday’s second round, double-bogeying his first two holes.

However, he recovered with two birdies before making another double bogey on No. 8.

After shooting a 40 on the front nine, Bryant played better on the back nine, shooting a 39.

Not only did he shoot the same overall score both days, his scores on the front and back nine were the same both days as well.

And while Bryant’s score wasn’t great, it was one shot better than former Masters and U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller, who finished his tournament at 19 over par.

Bryant was the only Mississippian competing in the tournament, and thanked Natchez for its support of his endeavor.

“I’m very fortunate to be in Natchez and be around the people I am in Natchez,” Bryant said. “They’ve done a lot to support me and I’ll do a lot to support them.”