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A golfer’s education: Colorado Springs teacher tries to solve U.S. Open challenge

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16min 24sec
US Open Golf
Wyndham Clark hits his tee shot on the 11th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament Monday, June 10, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Colin Prater is a science teacher at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, but he’s apparently really good at math as well, because recently he solved one of the most difficult equations in athletics: advancing from a field of 10,000 golfers around the world to one of just 156 spots in this week’s U.S. Open.

Prater is one of Colorado's most accomplished amateur golfers, a two-time winner of the Colorado Golf Association's Player of the Year award, but he had to overcome long odds in making the field at venerated Pinehurst, North Carolina. In the final round of qualifying, Prater won one of two available spots for the Open -- in doing so he became one of just 15 non-professionals to make the field.

Colorado will be represented in the event; besides Prater, PGA Tour player Mark Hubbard, a graduate of Colorado Academy high school and Wyndham Clark, a Valor Christian High grad, are playing. Clark is the Open's defending champion after winning last year.