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Could U.S. Open be next for Blades Brown, 17, after PGA Tour debut?

Less than a month after making his PGA Tour debut in the Myrtle Beach Classic Blades Brown is preparing for another national event.

The Brentwood Academy golfer will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open on June 3. Brown hopes to be among the 156 players who qualify for the June 13-16 tournament at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.

Finishing tied for 26th after earning a sponsor's exemption in the Myrtle Beach Classic provided Brown with plenty of confidence and momentum for his attempt to get into the U.S. Open, in which 9,522 players originally tired to qualify on the local level.

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 12: Blades Brown of the United States plays his shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the Myrtle Beach Classic at Dunes Golf & Beach Club on May 12, 2024 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 12: Blades Brown of the United States plays his shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the Myrtle Beach Classic at Dunes Golf & Beach Club on May 12, 2024 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

"I will say coming back playing with some of my friends after Myrtle Beach, that's the most free I've ever felt playing golf," Brown said. "Just because you go from that high of a stage down to just playing with your buddies. Obviously, it's been allowing me to ooze with confidence. It definitely benefited me positively."

The rising high school junior gained national attention by finishing at 10-under-par 274 at the tournament at Dunes Golf and Beach Club in South Carolina. He shot a 2-under 69 on the final day to end up tied with five others. Two of the players Brown tied with were Scott Piercy, a 15-year PGA Tour veteran with four wins and more than $23 million in career earnings, and J.J. Spaun, a seven-year veteran with one win and more than $11 million in career earnings.

Brown advanced in the U.S. Open regional qualifying round by firing a 3-under-par 69 at the Jackson (Tennessee) Country Club on April 23.

Earning a spot in the U.S. Open would be a good start to the summer for Brown, who ended last summer by becoming the youngest stroke play co-medalist in U.S. Amateur Championship history. Brown, 16 at the time, broke the 103-year-old record set by Bobby Jones, who claimed co-medalist honors in 1920 when he was 18. Brown also matched the course record for Colorado Golf Club with an 8-under 64.

Brown is ranked No. 148 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and is the top player in the Class of 2026. He has already won three TSSAA golf state championships.

After celebrating his 17th birthday on May 21 Brown is still very young to be competing against the caliber players he faced in the Myrtle Beach Classic and will face if he qualifies for the U.S. Open. But he is starting to realize that he has entered a new stage in his golf career.

He may be older, but he's still a high school student and finally being finished with his studies for his sophomore year has been a relief for Brown, and he hopes that will benefit him until school starts back. It made for a hectic stretch when he played in the Myrtle Beach Classic, which he doesn't have to deal with in trying to qualify for the U.S. Open.

"It was a little difficult, but luckily I had really good teachers who were very flexible with my schedule and helped me out all they could," Brown said. "Missing the amount of school days that I did, I definitely didn't make it easy on myself."

Brown had only three days to prepare for his final exams after finishing the Myrtle Beach Classic on May 13.

"That Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday was all prep for my exams Thursday, Friday and Monday," he said. "Let's just say I was nocturnal for those days."

Brown did slip out to hit a few buckets of balls at the driving range during that hectic week.

"Wednesday, just to clear my head before my first exam, I went and hit a few shots," he said.

Brown is playing extremely well but says there is still room for improvement.

"I'm just trying to get one percent better every single day," Brown said. "Whether that means me making a thousand putts inside of five feet or I hit a thousand drives. I'm just going to get one percent better every single day."

Nashville is 15th among top cities for soccer

Nashville was ranked as the 15th top city for soccer in 2024 fans by WalletHub.

There were 300 U.S. cities with at least one college or professional soccer team across 52 key metrics included in the ranking. Nashville has an MLS team (Nashville SC) and five colleges −Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Trevecca and Fisk − that play soccer (men's, women's or both).

The top five cities were Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City and Orlando.

Other cities in Tennessee included Memphis 39, Johnson City 166, Knoxville 192, Cookeville 195, Chattanooga 202, Murfreesboro 216, Martin 217 and Clarksville 263.

Cumberland golfer is a finalist for Jack Nicklaus award

Cumberland golfer Tom Scullion is among five NAIA finalists for the Jack Nicklaus Award. Scullion is a sophomore from England.

Along with the NAIA the award is presented to the top golfer in NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III and all junior college levels. Winners will be announced by Nicklaus on June 4.

If you have an item for Midstate Chatter contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on X @MikeOrganWriter.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Blades Brown, 17, set for U.S. Open qualifier after PGA Tour debut