VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Spencer Tibbits began golfing when he was just 3 years old. Now, the Oregon State University sophomore is ready to play in the US Open, the 3rd major tournament of the year.
It’s proof that after years of working on his game he’s good enough to share the course with Tiger Woods, the legend who inspired him to get into the game.
“My game has felt really good for a long time now and I think, not just me but a lot of people have just kind of waited for my breakthrough moment,” Tibbits told KOIN 6 News. “This is my moment, I think.”
He said he remembers watching Tiger in his prime. “Obviously not just me but a lot of other people got into the game because of what he was doing. So I have to give a lot of credit to Tiger.”
Fast forward 17 years. Two weeks ago, Tibbits finished his sophomore year at OSU and is playing Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver — where Tiger set the course record before Tibbits was born.
“I was just out here one day, I was out here with three of my friends,” he said. “I birdied 10, 11, 12, 13 and I’m, like, wow, all of a sudden I’m at 7-under and I birdied 14 and 15 as well. So I rattled off 6 in a row and I’m 9-under at 15 and everyone in my group knows where I’m at. So, the last 3 holes, they were really fun because we all knew where I stood and I ended up making about a 13-footer on the last hole to beat his record by one. So we all went nuts!”
That was the beginning of his “moment,” the one he’s been riding since that day that carried him through Monday’s qualifier.
He beat out thousands to earn a place in the field at the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach.
“It’s a really big step just knowing that I’m good enough to be able to play with professional golfers at this live. It’s huge for me, physically and mentally.”
The US Open will be Spencer Tibbits first major. It will be Tiger Woods’ 83rd. Sharing a course with Tiger will be exciting for the OSU student.
“It makes me really excited. It’s something I’ve worked for my whole life and obviously I’ve idolized him my whole life,” he said.
“To get the chance to play with him and meet him is going to be an experience I’ll never forget. And, hopefully, I’ll have many other opportunities to play against him, but this first one will certainly be an awesome tournament.”
It may be his first major but he doesn’t plan to be an easy out.
“I know a lot of people that they make it to the Open and they’re satisfied with just being there and just accepting that they’re going to miss the cut and trying to just have as much fun as possible,” Tibbits said.
“For me, I’m not putting in as much time as possible just so I can say I went to the Open and played a couple mediocre rounds. I’m there to put up a fight and to make my name known.”