U.N.I. golf coach and Pheasant Ridge course professional John Bermel will get to play in another major. Bermel, who played in the 1994 and 1996 PGA Championships, has qualified for the U.S. Senior Open.

 Bermel earned his spot in next month’s tournament with a win at a qualifying tournament last weekend in Fontana, Wisconsin. Bermel says he didn’t expect to get another shot at a major, although in 2005 and 2007 he was the first alternate for the PGA and didn’t get in.

 Bermel says that he’s noticed a difference in the competition in moving to the senior tournaments, but nothing that will make him change his approach.

He says he was not one of the longer hitters when playing in regular, but now that he is on the senior tour, he is one of the longer hitters. “I’ll be honest with you I had a whole different feeling playing with the senior guys than I did with the regular guys…I kind of like my chances,” Bermel says.

Bermel says he’s looking forward to seeing how he stacks up against some of the players on the Senior Tour, including former Masters champion Fred Couples. He says people don’t realize how good the players are.

Bermel says his day-to-day commitments won’t allow him to get in a lot of extra practice rounds before the Senior Open. He says he will just try to get in some extra practice to try and play at the level he needs.

The U.S. Senior Open runs July 12-15 at the Indanwood Golf and Country Club just northwest of Detroit.

By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls