BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - Golf has been a nearly lifelong passion for Kevin King, but he’ll admit the last few years haven’t been that much fun.
“Yeah, there was a couple times where I didn’t know if I’d ever get back to this level,” he admits.
King played collegiately at North Carolina, as well as stints on pro tours and the Champions Tour.
But multiple hip and ankle surgeries in recent years made it tough playing the game he loves.
“You start thinking, well if I quit playing golf, what am I going to do?" King laughs.
But of late, the Hilton Head real estate agent has been playing close to his old form. He won the South Carolina Senior Championship in May.
Then a few weeks later, he qualified for next week’s U-S Senior Open in dramatic fashion. The former North Carolina Tar Heel birdied two of the last three holes to make the cut by one stroke.
He’ll play the major championship as an amateur, but the 62 year old isn’t going into it with an amateur mindset.
King has played in the U.S. Open and the Senior British Open, as well as four career Heritage appearances. He says he won’t be going to the tee box intimidated.
“I’ve got some experience on the big show," King says. "So I’m going up expecting, as long as my body feels good, to play well.”
It’s been an arduous journey back to the highest levels of the game for King, one that’s made him appreciate the game more than ever.
“I’m just tickled that I’m back playing at a decent level," he says with a smile. "It’s really been a lot of fun this summer.”
King says he’s going to enjoy the moment next week, but he also has much more than just enjoyment on his mind.
“My goal’s to make the cut and be the low amateur," King says. "That’d be a nice little feather in my cap.”
The U.S. Senior Open begins Thursday at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Indiana.