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With support of MLB great, Travis Vick ahead in U.S. Open count

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BROOKLINE, Massachusetts. Admittedly, Travis Vick didn’t have his best qualities for his US Open debut. But what he did have: plenty of sage advice from the World Series champion that helped him find a way to score 70 in the first round on Thursday at The Country Club.

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Before Vic was an honor student at the University of Texas, he played three sports at First Baptist School in Houston, as well as playing football and baseball. His golf coaches included former MLB greats Lance Berkman and Andy Pettitt, the latter of whom became a close mentor to the up-and-coming golfer.

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“Andy was very helpful as a guy who was there and did it,” Vic said. “He helps with the mentality – he knows a lot about golf, but it’s more at the major league level, like, ‘Here’s what I did. This is what I have tried. This is what I experienced.” Based on what he did in the baseball game, it’s an honor that he just thought of helping me.”

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Vic started the week as one of two players who could qualify for the national championship last month. Rory McIlroy won the RBC Canadian Open last week, and earlier this month, Vic scored the Longhorns’ deciding point in their NCAA final victory over Arizona State.

However, even McIlroy didn’t have five Commissioner’s Trophies in his gallery on Thursday.

Pettitt, who has won five World Series titles as a pitcher for the New York Yankees, flew to Boston on Wednesday night to catch Vick’s first pro round. He couldn’t stay long, leaving after 15 holes to catch the day’s flight, but he wouldn’t miss meeting Travis even if it meant going to his 50th birthday on Wednesday.

Full results at the US Open

“Just a great family, great Christians, the same values ​​as my wife and I,” Pettitt said of Weeks. “And Travis, he just loves to compete in all sports and is very easy to train.”

Pettit remembers the emotion of his first major league start. This came in 1995 against the Oakland Athletics, which featured Mark McGuire, Reuben Sierra and Ricky Henderson.

“It was a pretty intimidating lineup,” said Pettitt, who went 5 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits and one earned run, walking two and striking out three.

As for Travis’ big debut?

“He must have had butterflies,” Pettit said. “His stomach must have been knotted up. Mine made every start I made. But it’s about controlling your emotions, relaxing your body and relaxing your muscles in stressful situations, and being able to make the game feel like shooting here – or if someone pitches, you make it feel like you’re on the hill. in field. BULLPEN. You are trying to fool your mind.”

Vika studied well. While he was definitely feeling the heat of the NCAA title on the line at Greyhawk, he was able to shake off his first-court excitement on Thursday and remain calm throughout the round. He hit a 20-foot birdie on the third par-4 hole to go red early, and he didn’t err on the top nine, making some meaty par-saves to keep his card clean.

Then trouble came. Starting a drive close to the creek on 10th pair 4 and leaving himself less than 170 yards away, Vic left himself a long look at the birdie and ended up hitting three putts, making his first bogey of the day. Three holes later he made another short iron on the green on par 13 and made another ghost, this time from a bunker on the green.

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“You can’t do this if you want a chance at the US Open,” Vick said.

Oil leak, Vic knew what he had to do. When Pettitt was in the big leagues, he was at his best about 10 percent of the time, Vic recalls, but he managed to win 256 games in 18 years.

Vic hit his target score in the first round with the parts of his game that were effective: his driver and his short game, the latter of which he turned into strength through his recent work with swing instructor Adam Porzak, who this time is in charge of. Vika. a week.

Vick’s biggest ups and downs included a parity save from a divot short of the green in 9th and a sandy par on 16th par 3, and he saved his best shot for last, hitting a fastball from 326 yards. par-4 18th to set a 58-degree wedge at 6 feet.

Vic rolled the final bird. Good start. But this is the US Open after all, and Vic knows he still has a lot of work to do. Fortunately for him, he has a championship resource at his disposal.

Another story Pettit shared with Vic was how he sang songs to himself in stressful situations on the hill. If Vic needed to use this strategy, he said he would choose a George Strait song.

Write it down. Take a little note.

Vic is pretty good at it and it keeps paying off. With a tie, Vic leads the notorious US Open scoring.


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