GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -- Tom Werkmeister turned pro almost 7 months ago, this week he'll tee it up in the U.S. Senior Open thanks to being medalist at a qualifier last month just outside of Chicago.
"We get in the scoring area and the lowest score I saw was 69 and I was 68 and then it kind of hit me, I think I'm in" Werkmeister said. "A couple more groups came in and 68 was still low and we were in, it was exhilarating."
When he says we, he is referring to his caddy, longtime instructor at the Pines Golf Course in Grand Rapids, Mike Boogaard.
"He knows my game very well" Werkmeister added. "He settles me down when I'm not in a good mood and kind of keeps it light just to kind of keep me comfortable I guess."
"Tom is very hard on himself, he gets frustrated" Boogaard said. "Tom is a perfectionist on the golf course and when he starts to let things get away from him a little bit, I'm the person who's got to pick him up."
Mike knows Tom;s game very well and is huge asset when it comes to reading greens, but sometimes the most important thing a caddy can do is keep his player mentally strong.
"I put a lot of not pressure on Tom" Boogaard added. "I think I make Tom a better player because I challenge him and he likes that, a lot."
While challenging is important, sometime's Mike's job is just to make Tom laugh.
"I remember last year in the state am I think on the 11th hole we were pretty tight into a match in the final match" Werkmeister said. "He said something funny and cracked me up and that sort of stuff just kind of keep my mood kind of level."
"Tom doesn't want the mood too light and he doesn't want the mood too heavy" Boogaard said. "It's a fine line but fortunately I know him as well as I do that I think I can control that pretty well."
As they prepare to begin tournament play Thursday morning in Colorado, there is no sense of satisfaction in just getting there.
"I don't want to go there just to try to make the cut or just happy to be there" Werkmeister said. "We are going to work hard on the golf course. We are going to be in pretty deep to compete and see what happens."