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Former NFL player Danny Woodhead is one qualifier away from making the U.S. Open

Danny Woodhead has transitioned to a golf career just four years removed from being in the NFL.

Danny Woodhead has transitioned to a golf profession simply 4 years faraway from being within the NFL.
Picture: AP

I discover it equal elements awe-inspiring and maddening when an athlete can play two sports activities not to mention decide one up and, in a comparatively quick time frame, turn into higher at it than lots of people who do it for a residing.

Former NFL operating again Danny Woodhead, 37, retired from the league 4 years in the past and transitioned into golf. Now, the 5-foot-8 Nebraska native is one step away from qualifying for the U.S. Open at Brookline, Mass., in June.

Right here he’s rolling in an extended putt (and making enjoyable of his celebration) throughout his even-par 71 closing spherical of the native qualifier at Omaha Nation Membership on Wednesday.

Woodhead, who might want to end within the prime 10 in combination factors out of all of the sectional occasions to maneuver on, told the Omaha World-Herald that he’s been “grinding” away on the sport since stepping away from soccer.

“Solely 4 years, but it surely’s been loads of arduous work. … I used to be in a position to see a little bit glimpse final 12 months making the ultimate 4 of the state match play. I simply wish to preserve getting nearly as good as I can. That’s my entire objective. We’ll see what occurs, however the subsequent month I’m going to be grinding to prepare for sectionals and see what occurs,” mentioned Woodhead.

Granted not everybody has the posh of with the ability to strive a pivot to golf of their 30s, however actually? 4 years? That’s all it took? I’ve been enjoying for a few many years, and I nonetheless suck. This isn’t stunning out of Woodhead, although, as a result of he’s been an athletic freak since highschool.

He has the file for highschool profession dashing yards within the state of Nebraska, and holds 21 Division II college football records, together with the mark for many all-purpose yards in a season (3,159) and profession (9,480), most 200-yard-rushing video games in a profession (19 of his 44 general contests at Chadron State), and most consecutive video games with a landing (38).

(Of the three million the reason why it’s forbidden to say Invoice Callahan’s identify in my home, his refusal to provide Woodhead a scholarship at Nebraska is within the Prime 3. The coach who dialed up a gazillion display passes for Marlon fucking Fortunate throughout his quick stint because the coach of the Huskers not seeing the worth of the homegrown expertise/future all-purpose professional was unconscionable on the time and is now unforgivable given how Woodhead’s profession performed out. Fuck you, Invoice Callahan. Sincerely, fuck you.)

The place was I? Oh proper, Woodhead is among the higher main sport athletes-turned-golfers lately to make the transition from the sphere or courtroom to the tee field. Tony Romo made the sectional qualifier in 2010 however hasn’t been again since. He needed to withdraw from the competitors after climate delayed the event because of scheduling conflicts with OTAs for the Cowboys.

North Carolina A&T’s Tutorial Athlete of the 12 months J.R. Smith picked up the sport throughout his NBA profession and has doubled down on it since retiring. He’s additionally making the most of NIL offers, which why the hell not.

John Smoltz really made the Senior U.S. Open. It didn’t go great, however casually competing with growing older execs as a result of you lack competition in your life takes a degree of coordination and athleticism that only a few folks can relate to.

We’ll see how Woodhead does throughout his sectional qualifier as a result of the competitors shall be fairly a bit higher. If he does make a professional sports activities return to the New England space in June, it’ll be a enjoyable storyline to observe for the primary couple of days as I’m certain the Patriot fan favourite who rushed for two,238 yards and had 2,698 receiving yards as a professional shall be embraced instantly by the gang… and miss the reduce as a result of, let’s be actual, that’s the place this run ends if he even makes it there to start with.

No matter whether or not he qualifies for the U.S. Open, it’s yet one more incredible-but-not-so-shocking growth within the lifetime of the North Platte, Nebraska, product — and a reminder that, with a little bit dedication, {most professional} athletes are most likely higher at any sport than like 95 p.c of regular folks.

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