Most golfers only dream of what accomplished golfer and Alamo resident Dan Bieber has done on several occasions.
He just returned from his third Senior Open in the last four years, having previously qualified for the prestigious event in 2009 and 2010.
His most recent trip was to the U.S. Senior Open from July 9 through 15 at Indianwood Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich. Bieber, 59, said it has been a dream come true each time to be able to compete on that level.
However, it turned out that Dan, with 34 ranking sites in the country, had earned the 16th spot in the nation on the alternates list, so he and his wife, Jeanne, decided to attend a family reunion in Lake Tahoe around that same time.
During the course of the reunion, Dan learned he was being moved to the top of the list, and when he was named first alternate, he decided to make the trek to Michigan. Leaving the family reunion at 3 in the morning, Dan and Jeanne made their way to Detroit, where Dan's best friend, Bob Fulton, who had qualified for the tournament as well, was waiting for them at their hotel. Dan and Bob have been friends since they began playing golf together at Livermore High School.
"I made the decision to go since there was a shot at playing, but even if I didn't get in, I'd be there to watch Bob play," said Dan. Once in Lake Orion, Dan had to be at the golf course at 6 a.m. to put his name on the alternate list. (The golfer just under Dan
"It's a treat and an honor to be a part of this major championship for senior golfers and a thrill to be able to play and compete with the best," said Dan, who told me that enthusiastic fans on the sidelines ask pros and amateurs for their autographs. "Striking up a conversation on the driving range with the best players in the world is a unique and special opportunity, which never gets old," added Dan, who during various tournaments has shared the course with the likes of Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Fred Funk, Fuzzy Zoeller, Greg Norman, Loren Roberts and more. Way to go, Dan!
WELL DONE: Congratulations are also in order for Annelise Glueck, who participated June 25 in Drew Gooden's Make-A-Wish Celebrity Golf Tournament at Round Hill Country Club.
She was lucky and talented enough to earn a spot on the Celebrity Putting Challenge with her partner, San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain, who had just become the first player to pitch a perfect game for the Giants. The pair won the contest, despite Annelise telling me she was so nervous playing with him, that she recalls holding her breath the entire time.
"Matt and I were joking about the difference of golfing in front of people versus throwing a perfect game in front of the millions of people watching! He seemed so grounded for such a famous young man," said Annelise. "And then he went on to almost drive the first hole at Round Hill, which was just a short chip from the green. He's a great baseball player and golfer, amazing and very impressive," she added.
Contact Caterina Mellinger at around- firstname.lastname@example.org.