WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – His passion for the game began as a young boy.
“I’ve had a club in my hand since I was a little kid,” Tyler Hall said.
But Tyler Hall didn’t know he could make a career out of golf; that is until he was in high school and was serving as a caddy for his dad.
“My dad qualified for the 1996 U.S. Amateur. The last one Tiger Woods won as an amateur.”
Now 20 years later, the 37-year-old Wayne, New Jersey native will be competing against Tiger Woods on one of the sport’s biggest stages – the PGA Championship – at Bethpage Black on Long Island.
To make things just a little harder, it’s known as one of the toughest courses in the country.
“Thanks for reminding me!” the golfer joked.
The husband and dad qualified by sinking a clutch putt in South Carolina this week.
“I’m trying my best to take it as what I’ve done for 20 years, show up like any tournament, dial down the circus and focus, play golf, and enjoy the experience,” Hall said.
This one week will be unlike any other week of his year, when he’s an instructor at Upper Montclair Country Club.
“It’s just managing everything around me and giving it my best shot.”
Hall’s boss at the club was kind enough to give him a few days off so he could prepare for his first major tournament. They will be bringing members to Bethpage Black by the busload in support of the hometown hero.
“It’s the coolest feeling knowing I have a ton of support directed at me, being a hometown kid, it will be a magical week.”
His number one fan – his father – will of course be there too.
“I’m so proud of him, he’s everything I hoped and more. I get choked up when he does so well,” Larry Hall told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
“My dad always says ‘you’re Tyler Hall when you start and you’re Tyler Hall when you finish. Don’t lose sight of that,’” the PGA competitor added.
Good advice from the man who knows him best, and before 200,000 spectators and millions more watching on TV get to know him too.