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Eagles' Carr prepares for his shot at U.S. Open
GS Golf
Georgia Southern's Ben Carr, right, competes in the par-3 tournament at The Masters, April 7, in Augusta. - photo by JOSH AUBREY/staff

Competing at the 2023 Masters was a dream come true for Georgia Southern golfer Ben Carr. After wrapping up his collegiate career last month competing in the NCAA Regionals, Carr still he still has a couple more chances to compete as an amateur before starting his professional career at the end of the month. 

“I’ve been busy moving out of Statesboro and down to Columbus,” Carr said. “I already miss being around the team and coaches. I am very excited about my next steps though. Transitioning into being a professional golfer is something I have always dreamt about, and it’s coming quickly.” 

His collegiate career didn’t end the way he wanted it to as the Eagles came one shot short of getting in a playoff to advance to the NCAA Championships. Carr is disappointed about the final chapter but says upon reflection he is proud of all he and his Eagle teammates accomplished in their time in Statesboro. 

“We were all determined to get back to Grayhawk for the NCAA Championships,” Carr said. “I didn’t play well in the regionals and I feel I let the team down. It really hurt to know I could have had a better impact to get us farther in the season. Some time has passed now and all of us have had a little time to think back on our time at Georgia Southern feel grateful for our time here and our experiences together. It was a great ride and I will miss it." 

In addition to earning a spot in the field at The Masters, Carr’s runner up finish in the U.S. Amateur last summer also punched his ticket to join the best golfers in the world at this year’s U.S. Open which takes place June 15-18 at Los Angeles Country Club. 

“I have been so busy but I am really looking forward to playing in the U.S. Open,” Carr said. “Having played in one major and coming so close to making the cut I am excited about having another opportunity to play before a huge crowd on the biggest stage. I can’t wait to get out there and see what it looks like.” 

Carr only missed the cut at The Masters by two strokes, and feels he gained some valuable lessons from competing in his first major at the most recognizable golf venue in the world. 

“It really gave me some great experience playing in front of huge crowds, which I expect will be the case at the U.S Open as well,” Carr explained. “I said after playing in the Masters that I feel I belong on a stage with the best golfers in the world. It really gave me so much confidence to have performed well. That will help me stay calm and relaxed, but the U.S. Open is a completely different test so I am preparing for that as well.” 

One big difference for Carr next week will be the fact that he is seeing the golf course for the first time. At Augusta National Carr had the opportunity to drive up and play a few practice rounds prior to the tournament week. Next week he will set his eyes on the course for the first time as he plays a practice round Monday. 

“I have not played but I have done some research on the course,” Carr said. “It looks awesome and I can’t wait to get out there. I have Will Wilcox caddying for me again and I can’t wait to get out there. I have always felt pretty comfortable on really tough golf courses. I grew up thinking that par is a good score and that is even more important at the U.S. Open, so I think that is a good mindset for this tournament.” 

Carr is playing in the Dogwood Invitational this week in Atlanta in order to get a few competitive rounds under his belt before taking off for Los Angeles this weekend. We will have more as Carr prepares for the U.S. Open next week.