Puyallup: News

US Open provides local golfer with opportunity of lifetime

From the moment Bonney Lake High grad Quinn Williams heard about the U.S. Open coming to Chambers Bay golf course, the 19-year-old knew it was something he had to be a part of.

“It’s the biggest thing to ever happen around here for golf,” he said.

Williams got to work on the application to become a volunteer with the USGA. The questions on the application asked if Williams had ever played the course, what he knows about golf, and if he plays on a golf team.

Turns out he was exactly what officials at the U.S. Open were looking for in their Junior Volunteer program.

“For the U.S. Open, junior volunteers are a way for us to give back to the community, and get children involved,” said Eric Steimer, assistant manager of the 2015 U.S. Open.

Williams is one of 120 standard bearers volunteering through out the week of the Open tournament, carrying the standard or score sign, following groups, and keeping and updating scores throughout the weeklong tournament.

“Our volunteers have a lot of fun with it,” Steimer said. “Players are more social during practice rounds. (Standard bearers) get to see a lot of action.”

A golfer since the age of 13, Williams is a committed one. He worked at High Cedars Golf Course in Orting, and is taking the summer off before continuing his golf career at Green River Community College. He’s been to PGA Tour events, but nothing on the same caliber as the U.S. Open.

“I’ll be seeing the players basically in my backyard,” he said. “Being inside the ropes for a big golf event is a huge difference. You become a part of the game with the players and scoring. It is going to be so cool.”

Being on the greens during arguably the biggest event in golf, Williams calls it the Super Bowl of golf.

“I know that sounds lame because it’s golf, but it’s a pretty big and hyped-up deal,” he added.

When asked which golfer he is more excited for, Williams said, “Tiger Woods, obviously.”

As one of more than 5,200 volunteers at the Open, Williams will receive a seven-day pass to the event, and his position of standard bearer allows him to be up close with some of his favorite golfers.

“Holding that scoring sign and walking up and down the fairways with the people I watch on TV is pretty significant,” he said.