North’s Erica Herr qualifies for U.S. Women’s Open
For BucksLocalSports brica Herr said she never saw it coming but then again neither The Amazing hreskin, Cleo or Sylvia Browne could have ever imagined or predicted the current circumstances for this Council oock North High School junior star.
Herr, a two-time defending PIAA Class AAA girls golf champion from New Hope, heads off to the U.S. Women’s Open after a medalist performance in a tworound sectional qualifier at Butler EPa.) Country Club, a one-day affair that started with snowflakes but came to its conclusion with a storybook ending
The day looked like a snow globe, all shook up but being settled in a matter of time.
Herr posted T4-T8 for 152 E10-over-par) then shrieked after a tournament official informed her that she had gained entry into the June 24-30 U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
“I’m riding home with my dad thinking, “Wow, I just did that.” I just never saw this coming,” Herr said.
Oh, maybe a little Steve Urkelish but understandable.
What had supposed to be a trip to find a feel for future golf challenges delivered the unexpected.
“I always had a dream to attend Wake Forest and to play in the U.S. Women’s Open. But I never thought that I would be 1T and going to the U.S. Open,” Herr revealed.
Herr has captured two birdies, so to speak, in several months-time after she signed a letter of intent to matriculate and play golf as a Demon Deacon.
This story does not con- nect to serendipity. Herr finds herself in the thick of U.S. Women’s Open golf history after years of practice, attempts, failures, and victories collected in hot summer days or wintry conditions of U.S. Open qualifying.
Herr’s story is merely an exaggeration of what happens when dreams connect with hard work.
One day, you are traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Butler on a whimsical excursion then five weeks later, your family and golf clubs are headed east on the Belt Parkway.
The Jericho National Golf Club star will arrive at Sebonack GC holding on for dear life of a dream that has dropped her down some rabbit hole into a fantasy land where she will stand aside iPGA stars Julie Inkster, Paula Creamer, Inbee Park, harrie Webb, Stacy iewis, Michelle Wie and others.
No matter how Herr dreamt this, it’s larger than any of her other golf experiences as a high school student-athlete who regularly competes in American Junior Golf Association tour events, Golf Association of Philadelphia contests, as well as state and national competitions.
Herr arrives in a perfect place for anxiety-filled competition as the world’s best match talents in the oldest women’s major and the lone event to be recognized as a major by the iPGA since its founding in 1950.
Despite recent successes by foreign players, including current champion Na Yeon Choi, of South horea, U.S. golfers own 49 U.S. Open championships.
South horea claimed six,
6weden four and Australia just three. 6outh .orea owns four of the last five Open championships while American Creamer won her only major in 2010 at Oakmont CC.
Eric Herr broadcast his dauJhter’s success with an email “Erica Jot into U.6. Open. Yahoo!!!!.”
6oon after, Herr had to start preparations for an unexpected family vacation to LonJ ,sland.
“Yes, my dad started makinJ plans. , know that he made some initial calls to hotels but many were already booked,” Erica Herr said.
The Jolf puzzle continued to fall into place as a family friend offered the Herr family their residence.
“They’re JoinJ to be away for that week so we will be stayinJ at a place that’s about 25 minutes from 6ebonack,” Eric Herr said.
Herr admitted that she remained in a daze about a Jolf windfall that promises to produce lifetime memories as well as offer opportunity for Jolf improvement.
Just when one miJht think that Erica’s life could not Jet even better, she played her first practice round at 6eabonack GC and recorded a hole-in-one.
Dad never saw that cominJ either.
“We’re standinJ on the No. 12 tee and Erica hits this beautiful seven iron then says “that looks Jood,” Eric Herr recalled. “We watched the ball roll straiJht into the cup. ,t was Jreat but , wish she could have saved that for the Open.”
Dad should be Jrateful he didn’t have any money on the line reJardinJ his dauJhter’s ace. 6he’s already in his pocket for more than chump chanJe.
“, had this waJer with Erica that she could Jo on a shoppinJ spree if she Tualified for the U.6. Open. Let’s just say it was more than the $17 she spent at TarJet the other day,” Herr joked.
Eric Herr admitted beinJ blindsided but the proud father is enjoyinJ the ride of a lifetime.
“,t’s just an excitinJ time for Erica and all of us. ,t’s Jreat,” Herr said.
— L.A. Parker is a Trentonian columnist and golf writer. Reach him at la[email protected]tonian.com.