Timothy Wiseman signs autographs for fans at the U.S. Open. Wiseman is the first Ball State golfer to qualify for a major tournament while still in school. Timothy Wiseman, Photo Provided
Golfer hopes to bring experience from U.S. Open to Ball State golf
Timothy Wiseman began golfing when he was three, with a plastic club that is. He would often ride alongside his two brothers in the back of a golf cart with his dad at the helm and his mom in the passenger seat.
As he got older, he began taking lessons and learning his way around Old Capital Golf Club, a course one mile from his house in Cordyon, Indiana. He grew up watching players like Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and his idol, Brandt Snedeker.
But in June, Wiseman got the chance to play the green at Shinnecock Hills alongside those pros in the U.S. Open.
“It was so much fun, just more than anything being at Shinnecock with all those accomplished players and great players,” Wiseman said. “It was exciting just being with the family and being able to compete with those great players.”
Wiseman, who was ranked the No. 724 best player in collegiate golf last year, began his journey to Shinnecock at the Muncie qualifier in May. On June 4 he secured his spot with a 2-under-par finish at the 36-hole regional qualifier in Springfield, Ohio.
With his ticket to Shinnecock punched, Wiseman became the 18th Cardinal since 1970 to compete in a U.S. Open. But he was the first do so while still in college, a fact Wiseman said he wasn’t aware of until after he finished play.
“It’s just crazy,” he said. “I’ve played with a lot of really great players, even in my time, and I’m also very aware that there’s a lot of really great players that have been there before me. So to be able to accomplish something like that and be the only one that’s done it while still in school, it’s incredible.”
Ball State’s third-highest ranked player finished the first round +13 and the second +5, finishing the tournament at +18, tying for 148th. Some others who didn’t make the cut? Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.
And while the 21-year-old didn’t finish in the top 100 in his first U.S. Open, he said the support he received from the 18-member party he brought along — comprised of family, a friend who drove overnight from Indiana and a coach who flew from Scotland — was invaluable.
“It really does mean the world to me,” Wiseman said. “The support has just been crazy, it seems like everywhere I go people are like, ‘Hey, congrats on the summer. You’ve been doing really well. We’re proud of you.’ Just hearing those things have by far been my favorite part of all of it.”
As his parents watched, Wiseman was joined by his older brother turned caddy, Tommy, on the green. And while it was the duo’s first time working in a major tournament, Wiseman’s dad, Michael, said they took their job seriously.
“The best part for me, I’m trying not to cry saying this, is seeing two of your sons walk down the fairway in a major championship, it was just emotional,” Michael said. “The first tee shot that he hit in the open, I was watching from behind and my wife was down the fairway, but I remember screaming to her and giving her a nice embrace because of how proud of him we were.”
While Wiseman said he wasn’t necessarily happy with his scores, he gained invaluable experience. As the lone returning senior on Ball State’s team, Wiseman said he hopes to make an impact on the team that finished the 2018 season second in the Mid-American Conference.
“From a performance standpoint, we want to compete and we want to win,” Wiseman said. “We want to make it to the NCAA finals and that’s what we’re working for and we’re not going to set our eyes any shorter than that. We want to win tournaments. We want to win conference. We want to go compete for a national title.”