PHOENIX — Arizona native Ben Lorenz has had a golf club in his hand ever since he was four years old.
He's always had an affinity for the game which has now led to this moment; playing in the U.S. Open.
"My dad would caddie for me when I was a lot younger,” Lorenz said. “Now he's going to be able to watch me in a Major championship, so it's a cool moment."
Lorenz was ranked as the top Arizona golfer in his 2020 class with Sunrise Mountain High School, before joining the University of Oklahoma golf team where his game continued to improve.
"I had to kind of work my way into the lineup at OU,” Lorenz said. “I learned a lot from those older the last two years and hopefully I am now one of those older guys in the next few years."
Any golfer knows the game itself is mostly mental. The OU sophomore said he’s learned over the years how to better navigate that side of the game as he preps for the biggest event in his young career.
"You need to have a lot of patience,” Lorenz said. “Plus learning how to face any adversity. Just facing adversity and patience, I'd say are what I’ve learned the most."
No pressure, right?
For Lorenz, he doesn’t view his PGA Tour debut as such. Instead, he is choosing to focus on the learning experience on a stage he’s continually dreamt of being a part of.
"I'm fortunate to be in this position, a lot of people wish they could be where I'm at,” Lorenz added. “I'm just very fortunate and going to enjoy it and take it as a learning experience no matter what happens."
In order to qualify for the U.S. Open came, Lorenz had to win two separate qualifying events which both led to two sudden-death playoffs. He eventually was victorious after sinking a birdie putt in both scenarios and then eventually let the reality sink in.
"A lot of people were blowing up my phone, it was really cool,” Lorenz said. “I was very relieved. It didn't really settle in for a few days."
To sweeten the pot even further, the OU sophomore's older brother is on the bag as his caddie once tournament play officially begins. Not to mention, his father watching just outside of the ropes living out his dream.
"My brother definitely helps me stay calmer,” Lorenz said. “We can kind of laugh at stuff and it's just a good environment for me. Obviously, there are nerves out there but I think that's natural. I am just going to try to enjoy it."
It’s a long shot to make it as a professional on the PGA Tour, let alone qualify to play a single event. Lorenz is aware of the fact and hopes his story and play can inspire other generations of golfers throughout the Valley.
"I would hope that some kids from this area, can use me as an example,” Lorenz said. “They can look at what I've done and just know that it's possible.”
The first round of the U.S. Open tees off Thursday, June 16.
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