Durham ready for U.S. Open challenge
Decorated golfer not in awe of situationJune 26, 2007 · MT Media Relations
If Durham, a rising senior at Middle Tennessee, believes it there is no reason to doubt it. Those who have followed her career closely can attest. She is the most decorated player in Blue Raider women's golf history - a three-time All-Sun Belt performer and the 2006 SBC Medalist.
Now, she will test her game against the best in her sport - the very best.
"It's amazing being here and it's a great honor to be playing with the best players in the world, but I believe I belong here," Durham said. "I don't see any difference in status, professional or amateur, I don't recognize either one."
The only difference between Durham and say, Annika Sorenstam, this week is that the latter can actually win the largest purse in women's golf, while Durham can't accept any payoff should she finish high enough because of her amateur status as a collegian. That's the only difference - at least where the Blue Raider great is concerned.
"Taryn believes a realistic goal is to make the cut and that's what makes her so good, she is a competitor and she truly believes she has the game to play with these people," said Middle Tennessee women's golf coach Rachael Short. "She will not be in awe of the situation. She knows she had to earn the right to play at the U.S. Open. Not just anyone can do that and she has put herself on a stage with the best women's golfers in the world."
Durham arrived at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club Sunday afternoon and has been spending the first part of the week surveying the course and taking advantage of each practice round. She will tee off Thursday at 1:42 p.m., and will be playing along with Anna Acker-Macosko and Ji Young Oh. Durham will play with the same group Friday when she tees off at 8:12 a.m.
The Glasgow, Ky., native will be playing in front of galleries much larger than she is accustomed to and the media frenzy will be much greater.
"That's (media attention) started long before I arrived here," Durham said. "I've had several interviews with writers for newspapers, I've done radio interviews, it's really been wild, but it's nice to know people recognize the accomplishment and want to talk about it. I'm all for that. The media attention here is even greater but it is what you would expect for it to be."
While Durham is soaking in all she can during this great experience, she also will take the time to learn as much as possible from the pros. She also knows she is capable of beating them.
Durham earned the opportunity to play in the U.S. Open after finishing second in a local qualifier and advancing to the Sectional Round. There, she survived three playoff holes to qualify for this week's Open.
The U.S. Women's Open will be aired on ESPN from 1-5 p.m., Thursday and Friday, and on NBC from 2-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.
More Women's Golf NewsNov 21, 2013: MT women's golf inks Burris to NLI
Oct 22, 2013: MT weathers elements to take second at Blue Raider Invite
Oct 21, 2013: George leads MT in first day of Blue Raider Invitational
Oct 20, 2013: Women's golf set to host Blue Raider Invitational
Oct 13, 2013: Miller leads Blue Raiders in Iowa
Oct 12, 2013: MT concludes Day One of Diane Thomason Invite