HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Open is one of the world's toughest golf tournaments, even for the pros.
It's a challenge Leilehua grad Nick Mason is looking forward to.
The 31-year-old will be the lone player with Hawaii ties teeing off in Thursday's round one.
He made the cut by winning a qualifying event in Maryland and believes Pinehurst suits his style of play.
"The mindset is to go out and try and contend," Mason said. "This course is probably set up the best for me for any U.S. Open. No rough and you go to hit it straight off the tee."
Mason has gotten to know the course, but he's already rubbed elbows with pros he's only dreamt of meeting.
"i'm trying to walk slow and soak it all in," Mason said. "I mean my walker is, it goes me, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Graham McDowell, Hunter Mahan, which is in alphabetical order. I was hanging out with Phil in the locker room this morning. I try to act and talk to him like it's not a big deal, but when they leave, I'm like 'oh, that was pretty cool.'"
Mason says after the U.S. Open he'll attempt to get onto the Web.com Tour, the minors of the Professional Golfers' Association, so to speak.
He tees off Thursday at 9 a.m. Eastern time.