Game number: X163665 TK4
One of the biggest potential underdog stories in sports history failed to materialize on Monday.
John Eckert, who played in a local US Open qualifier in Kansas City as punishment for finishing last in his fantasy football league, shot a 40 of 112 and finished dead last again.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach caught up with Eckert, who said he usually shoots in the 90s and “had some momentum ahead of qualifying, so morale was high.”
That momentum immediately crashed and burned after starting with a triple bogey on the 10th hole. Eckert then shot a 22 of 58 on the back nine.
The front nine started badly, with Eckert shooting 13 times on the first four holes. But he caught fire on the stretch with pars on the fifth, seventh and ninth holes.
“I’m pretty happy with the four peers, that’s for sure,” Eckert told Schlabach. “Walking got me. I’m more of a cart guy myself.”
Eckert had to be a bit surreptitious on his entry form to even enter the tournament. Schlabach had more information on this front:
“Todd Stice, director of rules and competitions for Central Links Golf in Kansas City, which hosted the US Open qualifier, said Eckert was able to participate in the tournament because he designated himself as a professional player on his entry form. Only amateurs are subject to USGA rules which require a handicap of 1.4 or less to participate in the US Open qualifiers.”
The day may not have gone as well as Eckert would have hoped, and it’s unfortunate that his best form didn’t come until the end of his run. But the 26-year-old deserves credit for honoring the bet and completing all 18 holes.
He might not have won in the golf rankings or in fantasy football, but his determination to complete the task at hand was noble.