Hey Mickey: That’s Quite a Pro Debut at Shinnecock Hills
June 17, 2018 Southampton, N.Y. By Dave Shedloski
Mickey DeMorat has enjoyed quite a professional debut at the 118th U.S. Open. (USGA/Michael Cohen)

Mickey DeMorat has come close a time or two in succeeding at getting one of his personal golf videos shown on the popular Comedy Central program “Tosh.0,” but so far he has struck out. Not even could he get a clip included when he accidently broke his hand by getting hit with a ball while recording video of a drive. (Don’t ask.)

“I’ve sent him a few things. I really thought that could be a ‘Web Redemption’ thing, that he might make a spoof off that,” DeMorat said with a laugh. “It didn’t make the cut.”

Funny he should say that. Because DeMorat (pronounced du-MORE-at) did make the cut in a more important format, that of the 72-hole competition known as the 118th U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. DeMorat, 23, of Merritt Island, Fla., advanced through local and sectional qualifying to earn his place, shooting 141 at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., to claim one of four spots. Once he received his packet, he decided it was the right time to turn professional, making this week’s championship his professional debut.

It looks to be a good decision.

Despite being assessed a two-stroke penalty in the first round for playing the wrong ball out of the rough on No. 14, DeMorat was an unlikely cut survivor with rounds of 72-72. He followed with an 80 in the third round when conditions turned ineffably difficult. But he was hardly crestfallen by the result, and he was looking forward to Sunday’s final tour of Shinnecock, especially with his father, Mike, on his bag.

“It’s been a great week,” said the 2018 Liberty University graduate, who earned all-Big South Conference honors three times despite not winning a tournament. “There have definitely been a lot of positives. I just want to finish as strong as I can.”

He certainly started strong, and he would have been in the top 10 after the first round if not for his Rules snafu. His uncle took to Twitter demanding to know how it happened and then blamed DeMorat’s caddie, his brother-in-law. The tweets made quite a stir.

Oh, that uncle is Daniel Tosh, the star of Tosh.0, the brother of DeMorat’s mom, Missy. Seeing how he has 27.3 million followers, Tosh’s tweets get noticed. During the second round he tweeted:

“even through 9 at the #usopen! 9 holes away from becoming the second greatest family member!”

“He’s a cool guy and he’s very funny in person,” said DeMorat, who mostly sees his uncle around the holidays. There was a chance Tosh would be on the grounds at Shinnecock Hills this week, but he didn’t make it, thus the extra Twitter love.

DeMorat sheepishly admits that he doesn’t catch all of his uncle’s programs. Then again, he doesn’t have to. “All my friends watch him. They think he’s awesome, so I hear about it a lot.”

As for his own starring role this week, DeMorat is just trying to soak in the experience, which included a practice round with reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed and three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, who won the 2015 U.S. Open and two U.S. Junior Amateur titles.

His next step, he said, is to try to advance through Web.com Tour qualifying this fall. He has yet to decide if he will try many Monday Web.com or PGA Tour qualifiers. But he can say unequivocally that his pro career has gotten off to a decent start.

“It was my goal to make it to the weekend, and to play well those first two days was pretty cool,” DeMorat said. “It was a lot tougher the third round, but it was tough for anyone. I just want to finish well. I’m definitely happy how the week has gone, no doubt about it.”

 

Dave Shedloski is an Ohio-based freelance writer whose work regularly appears on usopen.com and usga.org.