For Weinhart, a teaching pro at The Standard Club in Johns Creek, it’s nothing short of his dream come true.
“This is one of those dreams that every golfer has and I’ve been trying to qualify every year since I was 16 or 17,” said Weinhart, now 42 and making his inaugural appearance in golf’s national championship.
“It’s one of those things where every April I went through the [qualification] process. I may have made it through sectionals a few times but from there I never even got within six or seven shots of getting in.”
Weinhart, a Johns Creek native, finally qualified last Monday by finishing in third place at the USGA Sectional Qualifier at the River Club in Suwannee, shooting rounds of 69 and 68 to finish two round qualifier at 5-under par 137.
“I came in more at ease than I was in the past and didn’t put much pressure on myself,” said Weinhart of his qualifying rounds. “But I putted well and trusted my abilities.”
While Weinhart is making his first U.S. Open appearance, it won’t be his first time playing on a big stage. He played in the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic the last two years, the Bellsouth Classic in 2005 and 2006, a number of Nationwide events, and four out of five PGA Championships from 2005-2009.
He said he hopes the major championship experience will help keep his nerves calm so he can treat the 112th U.S. Open like every other tournament he plays — playing practice rounds on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and showing up the first tee with intentions of winning.
“I’m certainly now showing up to go home,” he said. “We all play this game for a reason and the way I see it is that I have a 1-in-156 chance of winning this golf tournament.”
The tournament is being held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Weinhart has been paired with amateur Hunter Hamrick and Scott Smith in the opening two rounds and will tee off at 12:12 p.m. tomorrow.