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While glory and fanfare and no shortage of money awaits the winner of the 123rd US Open, for some, just earning the right to tee it up alongside the sport's biggest names is a dream come true.
That's certainly the case for part-time Uber driver Berry Henson. The 43-year-old was born in Palm Springs, California, not far from Los Angeles Country Club, fittingly the scene of his impending Major debut.
And like all good Hollywood scripts, he earned his stripes the hard way. The World No. 444 came through 36-hole final qualifying, dubbed 'Golf's Longest Day', as hundreds of players battled it out across North America for a handful of spots in the third men's Major of the year.
An opening seven-under 64 at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey, vaulted him into top spot before a level-par 71 saw him clinch second and one of the four exemptions up for grabs.
"It's been a bit of a whirlwind," Henson said at his pre-tournament press conference. "I was telling my team this week that it's kind of been having the lead for like seven days straight. Haven't been sleeping that good.
"Obviously the attention has been amazing. I'm very blessed, very humbled and honoured to be here at the US Open for my first Major championship."
Henson, who turned pro in 2003, boasts three professional wins, the last of which came almost a decade ago. He plies his trade mainly on the Asian Tour now but also doubles as an Uber driver in his spare time, something that certainly sets him apart from the A-list cast he'll be rubbing shoulders with this week.
However, rather than be overwhelmed by the situation, Henson says he is relishing the experience that awaits him, and expects to do more than just make up the numbers.
Asked why he thinks his game suits the LA venue, he added: "I'm a grinder. I've been doing this for 20 something years. I feel like I have that type of mentality. I make a lot of pars. I can get up-and-down from the trash can. I don't get down on myself and just enjoy what the course gives me.
"And I know it's going to be difficult. I know I'm going to get in some tough situations this week, but if I can handle it good and just stick with what I do best and grind and make those par putts that are going to be key, then I think I should have a pretty good week."
Whatever happens, though, he's going to make the most of it in front of a home crowd.
"The Hensonator Nation is going to be very strong this week. I've got so many friends, so much support in the California/Southern California area, and they're coming out in droves. I've been getting definitely a lot of messages trying to get tickets, and it's going to be an exciting week.
"I can't wait to really get it going even though we've a few more days, but I feel like I came here on Saturday, got to play a few practice rounds through the course, feel comfortable with it, and I feel like in a couple more days, I'll be ready to go."
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A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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