Rob Oppenheim may have found the cure to his golf game.
At least that’s what the Andover native’s recent performances — which including a fourth-place finish in the Web.com Tour two weeks ago followed by a 3-under-par 69 a few days later to qualify for the sectional stage of U.S. Open qualifying.
So how did he find his game, which had been on a long, lost spiral in 2013?
“I started to think, I may have to get a real job,” said Oppenheim. “I think it scared me when I started thinking about it. You have a wife and a daughter and you have provide for your family.”
Oppenheim’s check-cashing at the last event was as nerve-wracking as it was the Monday before the event in Georgia. That’s when he had to qualify with several dozen pro golfers for a berth.
It’s a far cry from 2010 to 2012 when he was knocking on the PGA Tour door — he finished 43rd, 44th and 42nd on the Web.com money list (he made $412K over that span) with the Top 25 gaining their PGA Tour cards.
But he lost his full exemption from the Web.com Tour after a disappointing season last year, in which he finished 162nd overall (only $23,105). The fact that his daughter, Zoe, was born, probably didn’t help his game either.
He shot a 66 in the qualifier for the Georgia tournament and then followed up with 11-under to take home a decent paycheck.
“I chipped in on 16 and birdied 18,” said Oppenheim of his 66. “If I don’t do those both of things I probably don’t qualify. It’s pretty big pressure.”
While Oppenheim has been able to spend more time with his family, playing satellite tour events in the Orlando, Fla. area where his wife (Lacey) and daughter reside, he did a lot of soul searching with his game during his break from the Web.com Tour rigors.