In mid-August, 2014 graduate Brady Dixon will be on his way to California to compete in the 2018 U.S. Men’s Amateur Championship golf tournament.
His third year vying for a spot, the Mounds native earned his place through a Kansas City qualifier on July 16. He finished in the second qualifying spot out of 64 other golfers.
He started his first round of the day with a couple of early pars. He made his first birdie on hole 4 followed by back-to-back birdies on holes 6, 7, 8, and he closed the first nine at 5 under par. An eagle at the end of the first round put him at 7 under, finishing the first round with a score of 65.
After a break for lunch, he started on hole 10 in the second round and made his first birdie on 12. He said that gave him some momentum.
“It was nice to see a putt go in that early in the round,” said Dixon.
He birdied on 17 and on 5, followed by a bogey on hole 8. Making par on hole 9, Dixon closed the round at 70 with 2 under par. This brought his total to 9 under par for the tournament.
But there was still somebody that could catch him. He did meet some relief when that player’s caddy told Dixon it looked pretty promising for him.
“On the guy’s last hole, his caddy said I was going to make it, because he couldn’t catch me,” said Dixon.
It was nevertheless nerve-wracking while he waited about an hour for the other players to wrap up.
“Once everything became official, it was pretty surreal,” said Dixon. “But everybody was congratulatory, and I was excited for the two of us who made it!”
Dixon will fly out to California on Aug. 10 for 2 days of stroke play at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. After that, the field cuts from 312 to 64 players for match play, and if they advance to finals, 2 will be qualified to compete in the Masters Tournament in May of 2019.
He said depending on his performance at the national championship, he may consider continuing his professional golf career.
“If I play well that week, I’ll try to pursue something a little further,” said Brady. “Really, it just depends on that week.”
But, he doesn’t have too many expectations.
“It’s just about playing golf,” said Dixon. “I’ll be excited to take everything in and play as well as I can.”
This isn’t the first time he has earned nationwide recognition. In October of 2017, Dixon and his teammates made it onto the Golf Channel and the Today Show (click here to view video) when a video of theirs went viral on Instagram. It showed Dixon hitting a ping-pong ball across the top floor of their house, down the stairs, and into a red Solo cup.
Dixon played 4 years on varsity at Notre Dame Regional High School, and 4 years in Division 1 college golf at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He graduated from SIU-Edwardsville with a bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science, and has applied to a Physician Assistant program.
Original story aired on WSIL-TV