Jeremy Gandon will tee it up against some of the best golfers in the world this week.
Gandon, a Kansas State graduate, booked his spot in the PGA Tour’s Houston Open thanks to his performance in a Monday qualifier. Gandon shot a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 at Woodforest Golf Club in Montgomery, Texas, then was one of two players to advance out of a five-person playoff.
“I’m glad I’m staying for the week and not just for the day,” Gandon said in a release.
Gandon, who spent the summer playing on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and qualified for the Korn Ferry Tour’s Q-School Second Stage last week, fired five birdies to tie for third with four other players seeking the final spots into the Houston Open.
On the first hole of the playoff, two of Gandon’s competitors hit it into the water. Gandon then holed a wedge shot for eagle to punch his ticket for the Houston Open, which begins Thursday and will be contest at the Golf Club of Houston’s Tournament Course.
Gandon will arrive at the tee box on No. 1 at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, paired alongside Tom Lewis of England and Omar Uresti of the United States.
Lewis has won a pair of European Tour titles (both at the Portugal Masters) and was tied for the lead after the first round of the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George’s after shooting a 65, the lowest round by an amateur in the history of golf’s oldest tournament. The 51-year-old Uresti is winless in 372 starts on the PGA Tour entering this week, though he does boast a pair of victories on the then-Web.com Tour, which is now called the Korn Ferry Tour.
For Gandon, playing this week is the realization of a lifelong dream.
“It’s what I’ve always wanted,” Gandon said. “It’s just one event. You’ve got to do everything you can to play as many as possible, but it’s going to be a great opportunity. I’m hoping to give my best and see where it ends up. It’ll be a good way to see where my game is at, and where the best players are at, and how they compare.”
Gandon won’t be the only former Wildcat in the field. PGA Tour veteran Robert Streb also is slated to play. Gandon will become the third K-State alum to compete in a PGA Tour event in the last two years, joining Streb and Ben Kern, who played in the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive in St. Louis by finishing among the top 20 at the PGA Professional Championship.
Gandon wrapped up his K-State career at the NCAA Athens Regional in May.
A native of Charpey, France, Gandon left Manhattan with the best career stroke average (72.69) in school history.
His four individual wins as a Wildcat are the second most in the program’s annals, one shy of Robert Sedorcek’s record.