Cathedral Catholic golf star advances in U.S. Open

It’s been a busy few weeks for Cathedral Catholic senior Ryan Bisharat, as his golf career is reaching new heights — all built on a bedrock of past successes in the sport. Along with wrapping up his time playing for Cathedral and continuing to advance with his high school time (with an as-yet-undetermined outcome), Bisharat was one of just five qualifiers to move on to the next round of the U.S. Open in a qualifying round held earlier in May.

“I originally wasn’t even going to play in the qualifier,” said Bisharat, citing scheduling conflicts with his Cathedral Catholic matches. However, because of a series of events that ended up with his opponent becoming ineligible, Bisharat was freed up to trek to Lakeside’s Barona Creek Golf Course to face off against 88 other hopefuls all vying to advance.

“I had never played a tournament like that before, so I had no expectation I was going to make it,” Bisharat said of the experience. “There was really no pressure on my end.”

As a result, after bogeying his second hole, Bisharat managed to breeze through the course. “Once I hit the back nine, it started to hit me,” he noted. “I was adding up the scores in my head and knew I was going to be on the bubble. Thankfully, I was on the right side of that bubble.”

(Another North County player — Torrey Pines High School senior Jamie Cheatham — also advanced.)

Bisharat’s success at Barona Creek was the cherry on top of years of accomplishments throughout his life in golf, including winning the City Conference Match Play Tournament this year — his second such win at the tournament. (Bisharat also came in first in 2013.)

“I started playing tournaments when I was 8 years old,” he said of his beginnings in the sport, which was spurred by father Rod’s interest in golf. “After a while, I realized there was something there for me — that if I worked hard and stayed focused, I could make something out of this.”

For the next few weeks, Bisharat has a lot to look forward to. After graduating from Cathedral Catholic this coming Saturday, his next focus is the next round of the U.S. Open in Newport Beach on June 8.

“From what I understand, that tournament will be 36 holes in one day,” he said. “I’m not sure how many people advance from there.”

As for the stress of competing in such high-stakes matches, Bisharat said he tries to take everything in stride and focus on the game. “I sometimes get nervous, but it depends on the magnitude of the tournament you’re playing. I usually play best when I just go out there trying to get a good number and not think about anything else.”

Bisharat still isn’t sure what college he’ll be attending come fall — he’s leaning towards Cal State San Marcos — but what he is sure of is that golf will continue to play a large role in his life after he graduates from Cathedral Catholic.

Said Bisharat, “I want to see where my golf takes me.”

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