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The Turbulent Road of Corey Pereira to the US Open
As one of the most prestigious golf events in the world, many professional golfers dream of participating and winning at the US Open. For Corey Pereira, it is his first ever major tournament, but his journey towards this moment has been far from easy.
A Challenging Start
Pereira’s story began when his girlfriend Leah Bertuccelli was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare cancer that affects soft tissue – in October last year. The diagnosis looked grim and potentially untreatable, causing him to take a break from competition so he could fully support her through her treatment.
“It’s been pretty emotional to say the least. It’s been really rough,” said Pereira as he talked about how tough it was for him during those times.
A Double Life
Pereira had another challenge- balancing taking care of Bertuccelli while still pursuing his career as a golfer. He would start every day by hitting gym at 6 am before heading off to practice with his coach at nearby Cameron Park Country Club. Afterward, he would turn all attention on supporting Bertuccelli throughout her chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
A Bright Spot Amidst Challenges
In December last year, Pereira started a GoFundMe campaign aimed at meeting some of Bertuccelli’s medical bills which went past $25k donations target due to overwhelming contributions worldwide. Ten rounds later she has two to go, but the next treatment will have to wait. It was scheduled for this week, but Bertuccelli told doctors she won’t miss Pereira’s debut at the US Open.
From Qualifying To The US Open
Pereira had not played any tournament event in 306 days and his lack of competition rustiness compared to other competitors was a concern. However, he stamped his ticket as one of only eleven players who qualified through final stage qualifiers for the tournament – shooting nine-under over a grueling 36-hole slog in Columbus last month.
A First Major Appearance
The US Open marks not only Corey Pereira’s first major appearance but also his first official PGA Tour event after playing predominantly on developmental circuits since turning pro in 2017. Despite being ranked world No. 1,418 with just one professional win under his belt from Canada’s ATB Financial Classic back in 2018, Corey remains confident and optimistic about doing well at the tournament.
This year has been tough for both Corey Pereira and Leah Bertuccelli due to her battle with cancer. However, their journey towards hope still continues as they look forward to making more progress together even while chasing their dreams individually.