Scott Stallings didn’t have to stew over his missed opportunity at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier for long.
A day later, he learned that he had made the field at Merion as the first alternate.
Roger Chapman withdrew from next week’s U.S. Open on Tuesday night because of a shoulder injury, opening the door for Stallings, who shot 70-69 at the Memphis sectional qualifier and was the odd man out in a 3-for-2 playoff involving Alistair Presnell and Andrew Svoboda.
When Stallings first received the call from the USGA, he thought it was a prank, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.
“I said, ‘Which one of my friends called you and told you (to do this)?’” he said, according to the report. “He said, ‘No, this is real. We just got out of a meeting.’ I said, ‘Absolutely. I’ll be honored to be there.’”
Stallings has never played Merion, but he caddied for a former Tennessee Tech teammate at the 2005 U.S. Amateur.
“I walked off it – and I just caddied – and said, ‘That’s the hardest golf course I’ve ever seen,’” he said, according to the report. “Now, after being on Tour for a little bit, you have a new appreciation for how to play it.”