Nick Hardy, 19, graduated last year from suburban Chicago’s Glenbrook North High, the school used in the 1986 comedy classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” On Friday, Hardy missed a par putt on his final hole to push 15 golfers to the more lucrative side of the U.S. Open cut line.
Tacoma golfer Troy Kelly and established pros such as Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie and Angel Cabrera were among those who saw their days off vanish with the missed put.
By playing the weekend at Chambers Bay, the men will each make at least $17,336 more than they would have if they missed the cut. (Golfers who missed the cut got $4,000.)
What does Hardy, who was at 5-over-par 145 after two rounds, get for inadvertantly helping others? Little more than the experience of playing the weekend at a major.
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As an amateur, Hardy must forfeit his winnings. As a college athlete (he’s entering his sophomore year at Illinois) he can’t even accept gifts from the players who want to thank him for their bump in pay.
“My caddie was going to pay him $100, but he wouldn’t take it because he’s still an amateur,” said Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champ.
Camilo Villegas of Colombia benefited from Hardy’s miss. He approached Hardy at breakfast Saturday to say thanks, said Eric Markus, Hardy’s caddie and high school teammate.
“We joked about it this morning with some of the guys, it was funny,” Hardy said Saturday after shooting a 7-over 77.
“They were just goofing off … just saying, ‘I’ll buy you dinner,’ ” Hardy said. “I’m like, ‘No, that’s against NCAA rules.’ ”
With an odd-numbered field, Hardy was to play Saturday’s round alone. USGA rules allowed him the option of using a player marker, a fill-in partner.
He chose to play with the marker, NCAA champ Bryson DeChambeau of Southern Methodist University. DeChambeau missed the cut after rounds of 74 and 75 (9 over).
“I said I would love to play with Bryson,” Hardy said. “I have known him for a while and I’ve played with him a couple of times.”
So DeChambeau made it 16 extra men on the course Saturday thanks to Hardy. Which raises the question, can they save those gifts until Hardy graduates? “We’ll still give it to him,” Simpson said. “It depends on how I play tomorrow.”