Columbus, OH — Pat Tallent put himself in position to have an enjoyable 63rd birthday at the U.S. Senior Open but was unable to finish the job.
Tallent fired off a first round 73, good for 3-over-par and low amateur honors. With Tallent playing his second round Friday on his birthday, he could not help but be reminded of 2004 was he was the low amateur.
This momentum stalled as a tired Tallent fired off a 10-over-par 80 and finishing well outside the cut line.
“I thought if I played another really low round I could get there,” Tallent said. “I thought the cut will be at +8 (it ended up being +7), which meant I needed to shoot 75 today. I started out okay but I didn’t putt very well today. Normally that’s the strength of my game and today it was average. You really have to play your best.”
Tallent is no stranger to USGA events as this was the 32nd of his career.
“When you go to a USGA event it’s going to be set up well,” said Tallent. “I’ve seen a lot so you know when you come here it’s really going to be a high-class experience.”
It was not until the age of 34 that Tallent played in his first USGA event.
Tallent actually was drafted by the Washington Bullets in the 1976 NBA Draft as a sixth round pick. This selection did not surprise Tallent because of the timing and locality of the pick.
“It was expected and wasn’t a big deal,” he said. “I wasn’t drafted in the big rounds so it was just the Bullets drafting a local because I played at George Washington. I almost made it, I was the last guy cut. I was there long enough to play in a couple of exhibition games. My knees are so bad now I have a hard time playing golf. If I had been playing basketball over those years I’d have no knees at all.”
After just missing out on playing for the Bullets, Tallent did what anyone his age would do, go to work and that is exactly what he did with Pricewaterhouse for the next 8-10 years.
It was not until he left Pricewaterhouse to be Chief Financial Officer for World Resources Co. that he was able to devote more time to playing golf.
Given his roots in Washington, DC. Tallen became a member of Congressional Country Club located in Bethesda, MD in 1980.
A 1993 George Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Tallent won the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship and the Senior Amateur conducted by the R&A in 2014.
“I played for a long time and I was 62 when I won that,” recalled Tallent. “I really thought my days were over and really to be playing again this year. I qualified. Last year I was exempt but this year I had to shoot 70 to get into a playoff with four very good players.”
Though the ending was not what Tallent desired, a missed cut and two-round total of 13-over-par 153, it was still a great birthday present nonetheless.
“There’s nothing better than coming to a USGA event,” Tallent said. “I’m signed up for the US Amateur but I’m not sure I’m going to that. I still have the mid-am and senior-am I am exempt for so I’m going to keep whacking around and doing the best you can.”