Friday, October 7, 2022

Former NFL player Danny Woodhead is one qualifier away from making the U.S. Open


Danny Woodhead has transitioned to a golf career just four years removed from being in the NFL.

Danny Woodhead has transitioned to a golf profession simply 4 years eliminated from being in the NFL.
Picture: AP

I discover it equal components awe-inspiring and maddening when an athlete can play two sports activities not to mention decide one up and, in a comparatively brief time period, change into higher at it than lots of people who do it for a residing.

Former NFL working again Danny Woodhead, 37, retired from the league 4 years in the past and transitioned into golf. Now, the 5-foot-8 Nebraska native is one step away from qualifying for the U.S. Open at Brookline, Mass., in June.

Right here he is rolling in a protracted putt (and making enjoyable of his celebration) throughout his even-par 71 remaining spherical of the native qualifier at Omaha Nation Membership on Wednesday.

Woodhead, who might want to end in the high 10 in mixture factors out of all the sectional occasions to maneuver on, told the Omaha World-Herald that he’s been “grinding” away at the sport since stepping away from soccer.

“Solely 4 years, however it’s been plenty of laborious work. … I used to be in a position to see a bit glimpse final yr making the remaining 4 of the state match play. I simply need to preserve getting nearly as good as I can. That’s my entire purpose. We’ll see what occurs, however the subsequent month I’m going to be grinding to prepare for sectionals and see what occurs,” mentioned Woodhead.

Granted not everybody has the luxurious of having the ability to attempt a pivot to golf of their 30s, however actually? 4 years? That’s all it took? I’ve been enjoying for a few many years, and I nonetheless suck. This isn’t stunning out of Woodhead, although, as a result of he’s been an athletic freak since highschool.

He has the document for highschool profession dashing yards in the state of Nebraska, and holds 21 Division II college football records, together with the mark for many all-purpose yards in a season (3,159) and profession (9,480), most 200-yard-rushing video games in a profession (19 of his 44 total contests at Chadron State), and most consecutive video games with a landing (38).

(Of the 3 million the reason why it’s forbidden to say Invoice Callahan’s identify in my home, his refusal to present Woodhead a scholarship at Nebraska is in the High 3. The coach who dialed up a gazillion display screen passes for Marlon fucking Fortunate throughout his brief stint as the coach of the Huskers not seeing the worth of the homegrown expertise/future all-purpose professional was unconscionable at the time and is now unforgivable given how Woodhead’s profession performed out. Fuck you, Invoice Callahan. Sincerely, fuck you.)

The place was I? Oh proper, Woodhead is one of the higher main sport athletes-turned-golfers in recent times to make the transition from the discipline or court docket to the tee field. Tony Romo made the sectional qualifier in 2010 however hasn’t been again since. He needed to withdraw from the competitors after climate delayed the match resulting from scheduling conflicts with OTAs for the Cowboys.

North Carolina A&T’s Tutorial Athlete of the 12 months J.R. Smith picked up the sport throughout his NBA profession and has doubled down on it since retiring. He’s additionally taking advantage of NIL deals, which why the hell not.

John Smoltz truly made the Senior U.S. Open. It didn’t go great, however casually competing with growing old professionals as a result of you lack competition in your life takes a stage of coordination and athleticism that only a few individuals can relate to.

We’ll see how Woodhead does throughout his sectional qualifier as a result of the competitors can be fairly a bit higher. If he does make a professional sports activities return to the New England space in June, it’ll be a enjoyable storyline to observe for the first couple of days as I’m positive the Patriot fan favourite who rushed for two,238 yards and had 2,698 receiving yards as a professional can be embraced instantly by the crowd… and miss the minimize as a result of, let’s be actual, that’s the place this run ends if he even makes it there to start with.

No matter whether or not he qualifies for the U.S. Open, it’s one more incredible-but-not-so-shocking growth in the lifetime of the North Platte, Nebraska, product — and a reminder that, with a bit dedication, {most professional} athletes are most likely higher at any sport than like 95 p.c of regular individuals.

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