Domingo Jojola is one step away from fulfilling his childhood dream.
The USF grad has survived the local qualifying round for this year’s U.S. Open and will play in the sectional qualifying June 4 at TPC Harding Park and Lake Merced Golf Club courses.
Sporting gear from TaylorMade, which has been sponsoring him for the past year, Jojola said he has been playing both the courses for half his life, so he’s already got a leg up on some of his competition.
“Just knowing where to miss, where to hit it,” he said. “Being familiar with the surroundings out here is a pretty big advantage.”
Jojola moved to San Francisco from Albuquerque, N.M., at age 13 before starting at Lincoln High School in The City, where he played well enough to earn a full scholarship to USF.
After a college career in which he made three All-West Coast Conference teams and one All-America team, Jojola hit the road, trying to improve his game by playing on the Canadian Tour and a few qualifying events for the Nationwide and PGA tours.
He has also traveled all over the country on the National Golf Tour, which was started by golf legend Arnold Palmer a year ago, giving Jojola a chance to develop his game and get used to the rigors of travel.
“I’m always trying to get better,” he said. “This is a game where you can never get good enough. You can never conquer the game. You can always work on something.”
Though making the PGA Tour is his goal, he said he doesn’t pay much attention to it.
“I’m out here,” he said gesturing to the links at Lake Merced Golf Club.
He does pay attention to golfers he knows, tracking their standings online or catching highlights on “SportsCenter,” though he’s focused on getting himself ready to compete at the highest level.
“It’s a very demanding sport,” he said. “One day you can be playing really well, the next day you don’t have it. You can lose it like that and you can get it like that. It’s kind of one of those games you’re always trying to work on your misses. You always want your misses to be a little bit better. It’s not about your good shots, it’s about how good your bad shots are.”
Should Jojola continue on his road to the U.S. Open, he wouldn’t have to travel far, as the biggest golf event of the year will be held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco on June 14-17.