Biology Teacher To Play Dream US Open Practice Round With World No.1 Scottie Scheffler

High school biology teacher Colin Prater is living the dream after coming through US Open qualifying - as he'll practice with Scottie Scheffler on Wednesday

Amateur qualifier Colin Prater at the US Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golfing dreams don't come any better than those Colin Prater is living this week, having not only managed to qualify for the US Open he'll play his Wednesday practice round with the best player in the world Scottie Scheffler.

“I’m trying to cherish every moment,” said Prater - a Colorado biology teacher who came through the long, gruelling qualifying process to make the US Open at Pinehurst No.2.

A high school teacher at Cheyenne Mountain High in Colorado Springs, Prater made it to Final Qualifying in Bend Oregon, the 36-hole marathon known as the longest day in golf.

And while the likes of Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia failed to make it through Final Qualifying, although eventually getting places anyway, Prater shot 68-73 to grab one of two spots on offer in the final field at Pinehurst.

And now the 29-year-old is seeing his dream come to life he's really making the most of it - including playing a practice round on Tuesday with defending US Open champion Wyndham Clark.

The fellow Colorado native would have given Prater plenty of helpful advice during their 18 holes together, but on Wednesday it'll be taken up a notch even from that.

As Prater will be stepping out on the famed Pinehurst No.1 course with the World No.1, two-time Major champion and the undisputed best player on the planet Scheffler.

There's still some question marks as to how Prater's name landed next to Scheffler but he told that his caddie Cole Anderson may have organised it after meeting Scheffler bagman Ted Scott.

Scottie Scheffler at the Charles Schwab Challenge

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prater is no total novice, and he's played the course before, taking part in the 2019 US Amateur staged on both the No.2 and No.4 courses at Pinshurst.

He's the golf coach at his high school and was talented enough during his own school days to become a Div. II First-Team All-American at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

And Prater's become a master at juggling different areas of his life, as a teacher coach and new father he still managed to become the Colorado Golf Association player of the year.

"I joked last year when I won player of the year that I'm aging like a fine wine," Prater told his local CBS station. "I'm a dad now, a husband and that just gives me great clarity that golf really doesn't matter." 

Prater decided against trying to make it as a pro to follow his other passion of teaching biology, but he's happy to be swapping his lab coat for his bag of clubs at Pinehurst this week.

And after getting a few helpful hints and tips from the best in the world - if he's as good at learning lessons as he is teaching them then he will also enjoy his time in the US Open once it gets underway on Thursday.

Prater has been drawn alongside Americans Charles Reiter and Carson Schaake for the first two rounds of the US Open.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.