Former NFL player Danny Woodhead is just one qualifier away from reaching the US Open


Danny Woodhead transitioned to a golf career just four years before his time in the NFL.

Danny Woodhead transitioned to a golf career just four years before his time in the NFL.
picture: AP

I find it equal parts awesome and crazy when an athlete can play two sports, let alone one, and get better at it in a relatively short period of time than many people who make a living out of it.

Ex-NFL running back Danny Woodhead, 37, retired from the league four years ago and switched to golf. Now the Nebraska native, 5-foot-8, is just one step away from qualifying for June’s US Open in Brookline, Mass.

Here he rolls in a long putt (and pokes fun at his celebration) during his final par-71 straight round of Wednesday’s local qualifier at the Omaha Country Club.

Woodhead, who needs to finish in the top 10 total points of all section events to advance, said the Omaha World-Herald that he has been “grinding” the sport since retiring from football.

“Only four years, but it was a lot of hard work. … I was able to catch a glimpse of the State Match Play Final Four last year. I always want to be as good as possible. That’s my whole goal. We’ll see what happens, but over the next month I’ll be working hard to prepare for sections and see what happens,” Woodhead said.

Granted, not everyone has the luxury of trying golf in their 30s, but really? four years? Was that all it took? I’ve been playing for a few decades and I still suck. That doesn’t surprise Woodhead, though, since he’s been an athletic freak since high school.

He holds the Nebraska state high school career rushing yards record and holds 21 Division II college football recordsincluding the mark for most all-purpose yards in a season (3,159) and a career (9,480), most 200-yard rushing games in a career (19 of his 44 overall appearances at Chadron State), and most consecutive games with a Landing (38).

(Of the 3 million reasons why it’s illegal to say Bill Callahan’s name in my house, his refusal to give Woodhead a scholarship to Nebraska is in the top 3. The coach who’s been calling a ton of screens will Not seeing the value of the homegrown talent/future all-purpose pro during his brief stint spent coaching the Huskers as Marlon Fucking Lucky was unforgivable then and is unforgivable now considering how Woodhead’s career has progressed.Fuck you, Bill Callahan. Sincerely, fuck you.)

Where was I? Oh right, Woodhead is one of the better great athletes to turn golfer in recent years to make the transition from the field or space to the tee. Tony Romo made it into section qualifiers in 2010 but hasn’t come back since. He was forced to withdraw from the competition after weather delayed the tournament due to scheduling conflicts with OTAs for the Cowboys.

North Carolina A&T Academic Athlete of the Year JR Smith picked up the game during his NBA career and has stepped it up again since retiring. He is too Use of NIL Offerswhy the hell not.

John Smoltz actually made it to the Senior US Open. It didn’t go greatbut casually competing with aging professionals because You lack competition in your life requires a level of coordination and athleticism that very few people can relate to.

We’ll see how Woodhead fares during his section qualifiers as the competition will be a lot better. When he returns to the New England area as a pro in June, it’ll be a fun story for the first few days as I’m sure the Patriot fan favorite rushed 2,238 yards and received 2,698 yards as a pro gets immediately hugged by the crowd… and misses the cut, because let’s face it, that’s where this run ends, if it even makes it there.

Regardless of whether he qualifies for the US Open, it’s another incredible, but not so shocking, development in the life of the North Platte, Nebraska product – and a reminder that most professional athletes with a little dedication are likely to be better in any sport than like 95 percent of normal people.

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