June 11, 2012
For the first time in his career, Florida Atlantic University Athletics hall of famer Steve LeBrun will take part in one of the PGA Tour’s four major events, the 2012 U.S. Open Championship, beginning Thursday, June 14 in San Francisco, California.
LeBrun, who competed at FAU from 1996-2000, qualified as an alternate during sectional qualifying, shooting a combined 1-under-par 140 at two courses in Columbus, Ohio. The 34-year-old native of West Palm Beach earned one of the 16 open spots available at this particular sectional, and now moves on to the 2012 U.S. Open to be held at the Olympic Club.
“It’s definitely pretty exciting, it’s been a long time coming,” said LeBrun. “I’ve been playing off and on the Nationwide Tour since I graduated, but this is a special week for sure. I feel like I belong and I’m ready to compete.”
LeBrun graduated from FAU and turned pro in 2000. He has competed on numerous professional tours, and returned to full status on the Nationwide Tour for 2012 by qualifying at PGA Tour Q School in December, nearly getting his first PGA Tour card in the process. In his career, he has eight top-10 Nationwide Tour finishes, including tying for ninth in Panama Claro Championship in early March of this season. He is the second all-time leading money winner on the Minor League Tour, picking up 39 wins over the last four years.
“Steve is without a doubt the most excited, psyched, pumped up he’s ever been, as far as golf is concerned,” said Angelo Sands, FAU head golf coach. “It’s been a struggle to get to this place, to compete in a tournament like this. He’s paid his dues and has earned every bid of this. It’s a tremendous honor for Steve, and for FAU golf, to be able to say that this year we have an FAU golfer playing in the U.S. Open Golf Championship.”
While at FAU, LeBrun was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year as a senior, ranking 21st in the nation in scoring average. He was inducted into the FAU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. He feels proud to represent the school this week in San Francisco.
“It’s definitely special, I was proud to be at (Florida Atlantic),” he said. “I wasn’t a standout after high school, but FAU was close to home and I knew a couple of the guys coming in and we were excited to play together. I had a great time and I’m very proud to say that I went there.”
Living nearby, LeBrun still visits campus and has witnessed the growth firsthand.
“I’m proud that the school’s gotten bigger and better since I went there,” he said. “When I got into the Hall of Fame, it was great just seeing the campus and how it’s changed. I saw the football field recently, and it’s the way a college should be. It’s enticing for kids to go there now, especially kids nearby.”
LeBrun tees off as part of Group 1, on Tee No. 1, Thursday at 10:15 a.m. Eastern Time. Play continues up until Sunday’s final round.
“I’ve played in a lot of tournaments, so you know you’re gonna be nervous, you’re gonna feel on edge, you just deal with it,” said LeBrun. “I feel like I’ll be ready. As long as I continue to feel good, I don’t see any problems with stepping on the first tee and hitting right down the middle.”