Eric Dietrich, the former UConn star from Cheshire, will represent Connecticut at the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach this week.
Dietrich survived Local qualifying at Lyman Orchards in a playoff. He was one of a dozen Connecticut-connected qualifiers, including J.J. Henry, 2018 Connecticut Open Champion John VanDerLaan and Cameron Wilson, who made the cut at Shinnecock last year.
Dietrich was the sole survivor.
He qualified at Wine Valley in Washington State, having just finished a Mackenzie Tour — PGA Tour Canada tournament in Victoria, British Columbia with friend and fellow Lyman qualifier Brian Carlson.
“This is kind of the only one that worked,” he said.
Dietrich not only made it at Wine Valley, he was medalist, shooting 67-66 (-11) to win the sectional by four shots. Carlson played well, but narrowly missed one of three spots at Pebble.
Dietrich tees off at 2:42 Pacific Time on Thursday.
The former UConn captain, who won conference and regional honors while in college, turned pro two years ago. With Madison’s Carlson, Theo Humphrey of Greenwich, Zach Zaback and VanDerLaan made the cut in the Canada Life Championship in Victoria.
Most of the state players who advanced from local qualifying, competed at the Met Golf Association qualifier at Old Oaks and Century in Westchester. VanDerLaan tried to qualify in Dallas.
For Dietrich, Wine Valley was a good fit.
“I seemed to be in complete control of my game today,” Dietrich told the UConn web site. “The ball seemed to go wherever I wanted it to go. I’m not usually a scoreboard watcher, but after three consecutive birdies to start my back nine in the afternoon round, I took a look and thought if I can just bring it to the house I might make it.”
Photo: Courtesy of Washington State Golf Association