U.S. Open 2021: Meet Kyle Westmoreland, The First Air Force Veteran to Make Cut in a Major

by Matthew Wilson
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It’s been a long road to the U.S. Open for Kyle Westmoreland. The pro golf made quite the distinction, becoming the first Air Force veteran to qualify in the Majors.

After spending five years in the military service, Westmoreland has taken the golf world by storm. Westmoreland qualified for the U.S. Open after competing at the Dallas qualifier. The veteran turned pro golf shot a seven-under-par 135 and finished fourth overall.

“Everyone wants to play in the U.S. Open, it’s, you know, it’s arguably the hardest, some say the hardest major to get into,” Westmoreland told Golf Digest.

Westmoreland has focused on his strengths while out on the green. The wideness of his swing has made him a powerhouse at driving the ball. And it has him competing against some of the best golfers in the world. The U.S. Open is the place where champions are made and legends are forged.

But then again, so was the U.S. Air Force. Westmoreland continued to practice his game while serving the nation. He worked closely with Air Force coach George Koury.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more, the institution couldn’t ask for anything more and I just want this to be a springboard for him moving forward,” Koury told Golf Channel. “What a better poster guy than Kyle.”

Kyle Westmoreland’s Road to U.S. Open

Kyle Westmoreland started perfecting his craft in Texas. He became a top junior player that entertained offers from universities across the country. But Westmoreland chose to serve his country instead, enlisting in the Air Force. While there, he got all the training he needed.

“The academy seemed hard,” Westmoreland said. “I wanted to challenge myself. I knew I wouldn’t being to play right away, but I hoped it would work out.”

Over the next few years, Westmoreland spent any free time he had working on golf. He became a captain while stationed in South Carolina. He spent his weekends and late afternoons playing golf at the local Patriot’s Point Links driving range.

While deployed, Westmoreland stopped off in Spain. He was only allowed to rent one club a day while in the country for a week. So he would trade-in clubs each day to stay proficient at his game.

“He worked hard, he continues to work hard and it’s awesome to see him have some fruits of that labor,” Koury said.

All that hard work eventually paid off for the golfer. And now five years later, Westmoreland is both a veteran and about to compete in one of the biggest events of his life.

“Just like in the military, you have a goal you want to work towards and you figure out how you’re going to do it, how you’re going to perfect it and then you go for it,” Westmoreland told Golf Digest.

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