Beth Ann Nichols, Golfweek
Released 4: 26 p.m. ET June 16, 2019
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Growing up, should Chandler Eaton could shoot even par over nine holes, his father would buy him a cherry limeade at Sonic.
You will find lots of times, his dad noted, that Chandler could come into the last hole under flat, blow up with an eight or a nine and begin crying.
“Sometimes, we ended up having a cherry limeade anyway,” said Scott Eaton.
Chandler learned early on how best to close, and that his dad had a soft spot.
They’re spending Father’s Day together at the U.S. Open, living out a scene that they saw so many days on TV back home in Alpharetta, Georgia. Now they’re the ones within the ropes, walking a few of the most famous holes in golf at Pebble Beach. On this weekend. At a significant.
“I gave you a toolbox annually ,” Chandler said of previous Father’s Day gifts.
Nothing may top this.
“There’s nothing like carrying the bag for the child as a amateur,” said Scott. “I can’t believe it’s happening.”
Chandler, a rising senior at Duke University, is one of only two first-time U.S. Open participants that advanced through local and sectional qualifying and made the cut. He’s part of a heated race to get low-amateur honors, submitting a 2-over 215 total after three rounds.
Heading into Sunday, Stanford’s Brandon Wu has been leading the foursome of amateurs who made the weekend in 2-under 211. Viktor Hovland, the Oklahoma State player who obtained the U.S. Amateur at Pebble this past year, was par.
Scott caddied for his son last year in the U.S. Amateur, along with the group was eager to get back to Pebble to apply what they had learned.
“It seems fantastic,” Chandler said of enjoying with the weekend. “It’s somewhat surreal. I believe I’m starting to feel like I kind of belong here.”
Growing up, Chandler and his older brother, Carter, played every sport.
“Lots of children today grow up playing sport and specializing,” explained Scott. “After I grew up, you simply did everything.”
So that is what Chandler and Carter did. Basketball, soccer, baseball. Chandler did not begin playing golf before he was close to 14. “He is still hungry,” Scott said.
A proud Carter has caddied for his little brother many times at USGA championships but was out the ropes for the Open, screaming his brother’s nickname –“Poochy” — to tell him he was there.
Chandler played from the team before Tiger Woods on Saturday, so fans packed the rope traces to get set up all day. His calm disposition, something he got from Dad, came in handy. Chandler said he loathed the way his father stays in the present. It. They are both students, his mom, Kim, explained, focusing on how best to get better for the next time.
“The No. 1 thing is he just gives me so much confidence,” said Chandler. “He makes me believe in myself.”
There is some debate on when Chandler first beat his father on the golf program. Scott stated Chandler was 15. Chandler thought it was like 13.
“I always appeared to have an opportunity,” he explained, smiling.
It has been a pinch-me week for father and son. And it sure beat a gift card to Home Depot.
“Occasionally I cost him a couple shots a rounded,” said Scott,”but that he lets me take action. He knows that this is not going to last forever”