John Smoltz spent most of the last three decades playing golf with a bit of pitching every five days or so, and at long last, his hard work has paid off. Smoltz qualified on Thursday to play in this month’s U.S. Senior Open — yes, the actual Senior Open, where he’ll square off against the elder legends of golf.
What an incredible day of golf at Planterra Ridge GC! Jack Larkin and Sonny Skinner tied for medalist honors and John Smoltz secured the third qualifying spot in a playoff! Good luck in the #USSeniorOpen!
— Georgia State Golf Association (@GSGA) June 1, 2018
The U.S. Open and Senior Open, unlike golf’s other majors, allow literally anyone to participate as long as they work their way through the qualifying events. Smoltz did just that, grinding through a qualifier in Valdosta, Georgia and outlasting two other challengers in overtime.
Smoltz, of course, is a Hall of Fame pitcher who stormed through the league for more than two decades as both starter and reliever, primarily for the Atlanta Braves’ remarkable run of division titles in the 1990s and early 2000s. He and fellow HoF’ers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux played golf literally all over the country during their playing careers; after they won the World Series in 1995, they even had a putting green installed in the bowels of Turner Field, though they admitted that was more for show than actual usage.
The U.S. Senior Open will be held June 28-July 1 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
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