FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – For Fresno native Michael Weaver, golf is no longer the top priority.
“I’ve got a friend of mine who’s got his own registered investment advisory firm, (I’m) working there,” says Weaver. “Just kind of have a normal life now.”
But nearly a decade ago, Weaver seemed destined for a career on the PGA Tour.
“People ask me periodically, ‘who I played against when I played well at the U.S. Amateur,’ and I tell them ‘that I beat Justin Thomas to qualify for the Masters and the U.S. Open.'”
In the summer of 2012, Weaver beat Thomas, currently the No. 2 ranked golfer in the world right now, in the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur.
“Probably one of the coolest moments of my golf career,” says Weaver. “I beat a guy who might be the best player of my generation.”
And after finishing as the U.S. Amateur runner-up that year, he got an exemption into the 2013 Masters.
“The most nervous I’ve ever been on a golf course,” remembers Weaver.
And a spot in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania, where he made the cut as an amateur.
Unfortunately though, that would turn out to be the only cut he would ever make on the PGA Tour.
“On one hand, it’s like, ‘why did it work for them, and not for me,’ but it doesn’t work for most people,” says Weaver. “And I’m fortunate that I got to see some pretty cool stuff.”
He gave it a good effort after graduating from Cal in 2014, playing mainly on golf’s professional minor league circuits, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and the Korn Ferry Tour. But after six years of grinding, and not seeing a ton of success, Weaver decided to give up the dream about six months ago.
“I know my heart’s not in it any more,” says Weaver. “It’s more of a job than like, chasing a dream kind of thing, so that part made it easier. I’m a fair weather golfer now, like everyone else.”
But this fair weather golfer is still pretty darn good, and on May 10, Weaver fired a five-under 68 at Dragonfly Golf Club in Madera, and was one of five players to advance out of local qualifying there for this year’s U.S. Open, which means he’s now got an outside shot of teeing it up in another major championship.
“I know I can do it.” says Weaver.
To get a spot in the U.S. Open, which begins at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego on June 17, Weaver will have to finish near the top of the leaderboard over 36 holes at one of ten final qualifying sites on Monday June 7. Weaver told us earlier this week he hopes to play the qualifier taking place at Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta, Ga.
“It’s two rounds of golf. There will be PGA Tour players at my site,” says Weaver. I can play with them good for a day kind of thing. Over a season, that’s harder, But I know that if I’m clicking, I can definitely qualify. I believe that.”