Date: June 11, 2019
Author: Mark Hayes at Pebble Beach

No major difference for Drewitt

There's a new name this week for Aussie fans to cheer and embrace at the US Open.

But for Brett Drewitt himself, even on his major championship debut, it's not something that's overwhelming.

Drewitt, 28, whose formative years were largely spent in central and northern New South Wales, has the happy advantage of having played at Pebble Beach when a member of the US PGA Tour in 2016-17, finishing T33 in the AT&T Pro-Am.

"So it's nice to know the golf course a little … I'd imagine that it would be a different feeling to play your first major at a course you'd never seen," said Drewitt, who's currently in the midst of a tough Web.Com Tour battle to regain his top tour playing rights.

"Things are similar in a way – obviously the USGA sets things up a little tougher than the PGA Tour does – but from that perspective, it doesn't feel too overwhelming at all."

That same sense of "belonging", Drewitt says, also applies to the feeling that often overcomes first-timers on a driving range alongside the likes of Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.

"No, that inspires me that I'm back here, but I've played events with these guys before and I feel like I belong here," he said.

"It's just that it's a major (this week and) not a PGA Tour event.

"I know I can compete, but it's about managing my game around this golf course.

"But I'm in a better position with my game (two years on), 100 per cent.

"My game has been getting better every year. I know I spent a year on the (main) tour and then been back to the Web (tour), but I know I'm getting better, my game is improving, mentally I'm more mature and now it's about putting it together.

"We'll see how we go this week – I'm not letting my mind wander too much this week. I just want to stay in the moment and enjoy it for what it is and see how my game stacks up.

"Just enjoy it, that's the main thing."

Drewitt was one of five players to advance to the US Open through sectional qualifying from Springfield Country Club in Ohio last week, but didn't let it change his week's plans.

Although he admits it was slightly tough to focus on the Web.Com Tour event in South Carolina, won by fellow New South Welshman Rhein Gibson.

"It was a mad week, but I don't think it really soaked in until I got here. I think playing an event last week took my mind off it and helped me to be honest."

Drewitt will play the first two rounds alongside American Eric Dietrich and Chilean Guillermo Pereira.