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Just how difficult is it to qualify for the U.S. Open? A scratch 'weekend' golfer finds out

I had played golf at The Orchards Golf Club in Washington Township, Michigan, plenty of times and never had I experienced nerves like I did on May 3.

I wasn't even playing, I was caddying, and I could feel my stomach in my throat as Tim Atkins stood over a 4-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole. I've seen Tim make birdies for 20 years, but this one had ramifications neither of us had ever experienced.

He was technically playing for a spot in the U.S. Open, which begins this week at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.