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June 7 — Fresh off a fifth-place tie in last week’s Memorial Tournament, New England golfer Tim Petrovic is teeing it up Monday in a 36-hole qualifier for the U.S. Open.
Petrovic, who lost a bit of his week-long mojo by carding as many bogeys on Sunday at Muirfield Village Golf Club as he did in all of the preceding three rounds (three), is no stranger to the qualifier tour. Indeed, the Massachusetts native shot an 11-under and won the British Open qualifier in Plano, TX, last month.
A good test. By besting PGA Tour pro Bubba Watson in that Open Championship qualifier, Petrovic told the Columbus Dispatch that he had no worries about trying to out-slug one of the longest bashers on tour.
“Didn’t really over swing when I played with him,” Petrovic said, “which was a good test for me.”
Sweet swing. In the spotlight while playing in the final groups at Memorial on Saturday and Sunday, Petrovic won over golf fans with his smooth, rhythmic swing. Golf Channel analysts continually commented on his “sweet” motion, comparing it favorably with the powerful swipe of Memorial runner-up and 20-something phenom Rickie Fowler.
“I’ve been keeping everything in front of me, not over swinging,” Petrovic told the publication. “Get on the greens as fast as I can and get the putter in my hands so I can make some putts.”
Fowler, by the way, is also teeing it up at in Columbus, at Brookside Golf and Country Club. Petrovic is playing The Lakes Golf and Country Club. Several big-name golfers are in the Columbus field as well, including Watson, Davis Love III, Rocco Mediate, and Ryuji Imada. Other players with New England backgrounds are Brad Faxon, Billy Andrade, and Kevin Johnson.
Laser-like accuracy. With one PGA Tour win (the 2005 Zurich Classic) on his resume, the 43-year-old missed his first six cuts this year until he tied for sixth in the Texas Open and made the cut at the recent Colonial. Petrovic was tied for second in driving accuracy and tied for 13th in greens hit in regulation last week, his laser-like shots clearly critical to his revamped season, which includes seven cuts made and two top-10 finishes.
Petrogolf. Maintaining an even, measured swing has been key to the turn-around in Petrovic’s season. Playing “Petrogolf,” which the Dispatch said Petrovic called his game, helped him post an 11-under and share fifth place with Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore at the Memorial, seven strokes behind Justin Rose’s winning score of 18-under.
“Just carrying that over to this week,” Petrovic said. “Just doing the same thing, not really changing anything.”
The U.S. Open is set for June 17-June 20 at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

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