LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - It was hard not to take it all in for Steve Larick.
The 53-year-old Lexington native was finally living out a lifelong dream in Colorado Springs competing the 2018 U.S. Senior Open.
"After teeing off and you're walking up the first hole, it was one of the prettiest backdrops you'll ever see to a golf course," Larick recalled of his time at The Broadmoor Golf Club. "You're teeing off into the mountain and you're walking up the first fairway and all you see is these mountains and… I took a pause. Right there in the middle of the fairway. I told [my caddy] David, 'Is this cool or what?'"
As scenic as the view was for Larick, it wasn't just the backdrop that gave him reason to pause. It was the fact that he was doing so at the U.S. Senior Open, an event that he'd dreamed of playing in for as long as he could remember.
"I played in the U.S. Junior like Dillon [Hite] is this year," Larick said. "I played in a U.S. Amateur when I was in college. I thought, 'Well, I'm always going to play in these things. I'm going to play in the opens and blah, blah, blah.' I never made one and, 33 years later, my number got called and it was an awesome experience."
Larick, who played on the Nationwide Tour back in the 90s, was two of 78 golfers to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open in his qualifier. For him to seal the deal was incredibly satisfying.
"When it was all over, the hairs just kind of stuck up on my arm," Larick said. "I was a little emotional. I get that way now just thinking about it."
With his spot secured for the tournament, Larick wasn't just going to simply be fulfilled with being there. The golf pro from Golden Hills Golf & Country Club wanted to win the whole thing. Unfortunately, Larick fell short of that goal and missed the cut. Still, Larick took lots away from his experience and he's ready to get back to work to make it back to the U.S. Senior Open.
"You know what the worst part this whole experience is? I don't get to do it again next week," Larick said. "It's over. Those guys that are doing this weekly or on a weekly basis…'I've got something to work on. I can get better for next week.' There is no next week [for me]. It's over until next year. I've got to wait a whole year and I'm going to stew for a long time. And then, it all comes down to that 18-hole qualifier that, man, you might play good that day. You might not. That was one of the worst things about it is that it's over. I don't have another chance to redeem myself."