Tigard golf pro takes a leap into the big leagues
Scott Erdmann has thought about this day for a long time.
This week, the Tigard resident will be teeing off in the Professional Golfers Association Championship, the last major tournament of the pro golf season. The event begins today (Thursday) in Atlanta, Ga.
'I'm living the dream,' said Erdmann, 34, while on his way to the driving range in Atlanta on Monday. 'I always wanted to play on the PGA Tour, but it was always way, way in the back of my head. I always thought that if I was playing my best, I could play there, but of course there are a million other people who say that.'
Erdmann, who works as an assistant golf pro at Oswego Lake Country Club in Lake Oswego, will take to the fairway with some of the biggest names in the sport from 22 countries, including Tiger Woods and returning champion Martin Kaymer of Germany.
'There were 312 golfers at nationals, and only the top 20 go to the PGA championship,' Erdmann said. 'All of a sudden here I am in Atlanta.
'It's been a crazy month.'
After competing in smaller tournaments for the last few years, Erdmann's exceptional season started with a second-place win at the Northwest regional, traditionally one of the toughest regional tournaments in the country. Another second-place win at the national tournament earned him a place at the international championship, nicknamed 'Glory's Last Shot.'
Erdmann has become a local celebrity at the country club where he works, receiving praise from club members and golf pros alike.
'I was just the guy who got your clubs and taught the occasional lesson,' he said. 'But these last few weeks have been just surreal. I thought when I came back from nationals I'd get some attention but it's been just a storm of people.'
For Erdmann's co-workers at Oswego Lake Country Club, Erdmann's success has been a long time coming.
'After getting off to such a good start at the nationals, it's no surprise that he's at the PGA Championship,' said fellow golf pro Matt Herrera. 'He is that good.'
Herrera said he was excited that Erdmann had made it so far.
'The chance to be there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,' Herrera said. 'He has always been an impressive player and he's handled the pressure really well.'
But while co-workers may have seen this coming, Erdmann said he never expected anything like this to happen.
'It's been a slow process for me,' Erdmann said. 'I've been getting just a little bit better every time.'
Unlike pros like Tiger Woods who have been playing golf since childhood, it wasn't until high school that Erdmann began to think seriously about golf.
'I was a bit of a late bloomer,' he said. 'When I got to high school I really developed more of a passion for it, and it wasn't until after high school that I thought that this was what I wanted to do.'
Golf pro or pro golfer?
This isn't the end to Erdmann's PGA tour. In September, he will compete in the PGA Cup, which pits the country's best golf pros against the best from Europe.
Erdmann said he still doesn't think he will become a professional golfer, despite his recent success.
'I've never had real thoughts of playing for a living, other than just dreaming about it,' he said. 'But when you are playing really solid like I have been, it makes you think about it a little more.'
'There are golf professionals and professional golfers,' Erdmann added. He is the latter, he said, at least for now.
The PGA Championship begins today (Thursday) and runs through Sunday.