At La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc, Head Club pro Larry Correa has a chance to do something special, play in the U.S. Open but this won’t be his first time, trying to get there.
“I've done it long as I can remember, because that's the tournament you want to get into," Correa said.
This past year, Correa got past the local qualifying round to advance to the final qualifying round. It was at La Purisima where he shot a 70. The Southern California Golf Association has frequented the course as a local qualifying spot since 2000.
For Correa, he gets a unique knowledge stepping onto the course he sees everyday as a part of his job.
“Even though I'm playing here, I practice, do lessons, it's just different that day," Correa explained. " When I show up, I just have to stay in that frame of mind of just another day.”
Though there might be a confidence of playing the course that he knows like the back of his hand for the local qualifier, in some ways, there's more nerves with the expectations to perform well.
“I used to get real scared and I don't want my members to think I suck and I want to do good in front of everyone.”
But now he’s focused on his next task, the final qualifying round at Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles that will feature 36 holes June 5. The upside, he’ll be close to home and playing a course he’s had practice on.
“I'm close to home, it's not a three hour time difference and out of a hotel. It just I'll be able to stay with people I know and it's just more of a home vibe.”
Originally from San Diego, where he grew up and played college golf at San Diego State University, Correa has not only found a golf home here these past 14 years at La Purisima but an area, he’s been happy to put roots in.
“I just like it up here a little more. Being married, having a child, itt's just more of a family vibe up here and and everybody just is like family up here.”
Correa was one of five golfers on April 27 from La Purisimia to join a group of 530 golfers that advanced from local qualifiers out of a pool of 9,693. According to Correa, he's already had a few practice rounds at Hillcrest Country Club which sits just a few miles down the road from the home of this year's U.S. Open — Los Angeles Country Club.