A man raised golfing on Osceola turf will head to the U.S. Open Championship this year for a second time.
Charlie Danielson qualified May 20 at the U.S. Golf Association sectionals in Dallas Texas. The U.S. Open will be held at Pebble Beach Golf Club in California, June 13 - 16.
What ran through the golfer’s mind as he cinched his spot at the championship?
“Just a huge sigh of relief,” said Danielson, who has been recovering from knee surgery since last July. “I’ve had a few close calls earlier in the year and I felt that I was due for something good to go my way.”
Local golfers and friends of the Danielson family also celebrated the achievement.
“For him to get back to this level right away is impressive,” said Logan Schrock, director of golf at Osceola’s Krooked Kreek Golf Course. “It’s exciting and it’s great for younger kids to see someone from the area qualifying.”
“To get into the U.S. Open is a pretty significant event, an accomplishment,” said Patrick Hayes, owner of Krooked Kreek since December 2017.
A week before the qualifier, Danielson played a round at the local course, shooting a 59. Par is 72.
“It’s a record,” Hayes said. “And he shot from the blue tees, the long tees. We’ll frame the scorecard. Now we have to figure out what we can do at the course so he won’t do it again.”
Said Danielson, “I love coming back to Osceola. So many great memories and so many great friends. Plus, Krooked Kreek is the course I grew up playing.”
Now he’ll turn his focus to the June championship.
“This is my second U.S. Open now and I’m excited about the opportunity,” Danielson told the Sun. “It’s a great chance to learn more about my golf game at a historic venue. There are quite a few challenges when it comes to playing in a major: tough golf course, tough set up, best competition in the world and on the biggest stage.”
Still, the golfer wasn’t too busy to express gratitude for his hometown fans.
“Thank you to everyone in the community for the overwhelming support,” he said. “It’s been a long journey back to playing after knee surgery, and I’m very blessed to be back competing again.”