Chris Naegel Went from Quitting Golf to Playing at Shinnecock

Justin B. News, Players Leave a Comment

When something unexpected happens in life, some people like to think it was fate. And for Chris Naegel, fate had a completely different plan for him than you might have thought.

Naegel has been a semi-professional golfer for a few years now but hasn’t been all that successful. A few weeks ago, Naegel missed a cut on the Tour and decided that it was time to hang up the bag.

Following the decision, Naegel competed in a U.S. Open qualifier in Nashville, shooting 64 to qualify for a sectional in Texas. He told his wife that he would be quitting after the sectional but fate had different plans.

The 36 hole event in Houston was the last step to making the U.S. Open and Naegel found himself in contention coming down the stretch. But, Chris still needed four birdies in his final five holes to force a playoff.

Naegel made it to the 18th two shots back and as fate would have it, he buried a 40-foot eagle putt to force a playoff. He then birdied the first hole of the playoff to punch his ticket to Shinnecock.

As for that commitment to end his golfing career after that sectional, that looks like it’s on hold. His wife expected this, however, as she told the media this week. “I didn’t think he was done, really,” Lindsey Naegel said. “I said, ‘Get through the next two weeks and come home, and we’ll talk about it.’ In the next two weeks, our lives changed significantly.”

The ingredient to Naegel’s success seems to have been relaxation. Without the pressure of having to perform to stay on the pro circuit, Naegel was able to relax and just play, knowing that he wouldn’t be coming back. It seems like all athletes at every level are able to perform better when they go back to the basics of having fun and Naegel is certainly no exception.

While Naegel will come into the U.S. Open as one of the longest shots in the entire field, fate may be on his side. Hopefully, Naegel will be able to continue riding the momentum of this magical journey.

Cover Image via Twitter

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