Unlikely U.S. Open qualifier looks to capitalize on opportunity
LOS ANGELES – Patrick Cover’s qualification for the U.S. Open is one of the bigger surprises in the entire field.
The former UNC-Wilmington golfer has played 60 events between the PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour China, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica, finishing inside the top 10 at just two of those tournaments.
He’s made the weekend in four of his last eight starts on the Korn Ferry Tour. But inward, Cover felt this kind of breakthrough was on the horizon.
“I actually feel like I’ve been playing well. The last two tournaments I had some iffy putting on funky greens in Raleigh,” he said. “I just haven’t had tournaments where I’ve put all four rounds together, but I’m feeling really confident, and I think this golf course sets up really well for me.”
Cover shot a 67 at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania, during local qualifying before posting rounds of 67 and 65 at the final qualifying stage. He shared co-medalist honors with Yuto Katsuragawa at Old Chatham Club in Durham, North Carolina.
The Charlotte native is no stranger to USGA events in California. Cover played in the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Amateur championships at Riviera and Pebble Beach. He’s already appreciative that playing this week at LACC is another milestone crossed off his California checklist.
Now that he’s here, qualifying isn’t enough. He’s prepared to tee it up next week at the Compliance Solutions Championship in Oklahoma, but there are aspirations for a flight change to Connecticut.
“If you top-10 here, I think you automatically get into the Travelers,” Cover said. “I’m planning on jumping right back into it on the Korn Ferry, but it’s nice to be on the big stage, so why not try and make the most of it.”