U.S. SENIOR AMATEUR
Oregon's Carey Goes Inside the Ropes for a Change August 26, 2017 | Minneapolis, Minn. By Dave Shedloski

Brad Carey of Lake Oswego, Ore., grew up playing golf with – and later working for – 2004 U.S. Senior Open champion Peter Jacobsen. (USGA/Chris Keane)

U.S. Senior Amateur Home

Brad Carey’s debut in the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship on Saturday at The Minikahda Club went somewhat according to expectations – and that was the problem in a disappointing 6-over-par 78 that will force him to scramble to make the cut in Sunday’s second round.

“I woke up in the middle of the night Thursday, I guess it was, and thought, oh God, I hope I don’t embarrass myself,” the retired businessman from Lake Oswego, Ore., said. “I’ve been struggling with the driver, and out here you have to be in the fairway. Every time I missed one I was making a bogey.”

Though he is competing in his first USGA event, Carey, 63, is hardly a novice in competitive golf. In fact, he probably knows more about the inner workings of a golf event than most of the other 155 players in the field.

In 1982, Carey went to work for PGA Tour player and past U.S. Senior Open champion Peter Jacobsen. Jacobsen, a popular player and television analyst for NBC Sports, for years hosted the Fred Meyer Challenge, a televised charitable tournament. The man in charge of running it was Carey, who played junior golf with Jacobsen and Jacobsen’s brother David, an outstanding amateur golfer who competed in the first U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1981 and is a former USGA committee member.

“Obviously, they were both really good players,” said Carey, who was a groomsman in Peter’s wedding and still keeps in touch with him. “We competed together all over the place, then I went to Oregon State and he went to Oregon. He was such a good player. I might have nipped him at a college event or two, but Peter obviously had a lot of game.”

Carey, who also played basketball at Oregon State for two years, still has a lot of golf game, too, despite his struggles on a tough Minikahda layout dampened by more than an inch of rain. He competes often in weekend Oregon Golf Association events, and has won, as he describes it, “countless events that nobody outside of the state has ever heard of.”

He would play more, but he has other interests, including hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, mountain climbing and working out. “I’ve become vice president of goofing off,” he said, noting that he also loves spending time with his kids and his 89-year-old mother. “I don’t put on a suit and tie anymore, and I love it. I am really good at being retired.”

Carey qualified for the championship by firing an even-par 70 at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash., despite the fact that he doesn’t exactly grin on the practice tee because of his other interests. “It was kind of a surprise to me, actually. That was a good day,” he said with a grin.

Whatever happens this weekend, he’ll be back trying to qualify again next summer. The championship moves in 2017 to Eugene Country Club in Oregon, where Carey competed in college.

“I never really tried to play at this level, but now that I have done it, I certainly want to try it again,” he said. “And to play at home, that would be fun. That’s a good goal.”

Dave Shedloski is an Ohio-based freelance writer whose work frequently appears on USGA websites.

 

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