Jason Preeo achieved the goal of qualifying and playing in the U.S. Open. Now, he wants to play some more tournaments and improve his game so he can …
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Jason Preeo achieved the goal of qualifying and playing in the
U.S. Open. Now, he wants to play some more tournaments and improve
his game so he can return to the open and finish higher than he did
The Highlands Ranch resident is an instructor at the MetaGolf
Learning Center at the Broken Tee Golf Course in Englewood. He
earned the right to play in the U.S. Open by shooting excellent
scores at the qualifying competition at Columbine Country Club just
a week before the open’s practice rounds at Pebble Beach Golf
He said playing in the open taught him he needs to learn to be
more patient and not resort to an aggressive style if his scores
Preeo also said he has to be physically stronger, particularly
in the forearms, plus learn to shoot well when facing a steeper
He added that he knows there are several shots he wants to work
on so he can play better when and if he returns to the open.
In talking about the experience at the open, Preeo said one of
the things that surprised him about Pebble Beach was the grass in
the rough was shorter than he expected.
“Actually, that was a smart move on the part of the tournament
organizers because the shorter rough invites you to take a chance
on your approach shots to try to land on the very small greens,” he
said. “If you hit it in the wrong spot, you wound up in the rough,
where it was stiff enough and high enough to turn the face of the
club if you didn’t have the strength to power through it.”
Preeo had good rounds the first two days then his scores climbed
later in the tournament. He made the initial cut after the second
round June 18, then finished 82nd in a field of 156.
“The biggest difference was, when I hit a shot the right way the
first two days, the ball still landed in a good spot. But on the
final two days, those bad shots I hit ended up in bad spots where
there was little chance to save par,” he said. “Then, I didn’t play
well in the third round so, instead of realizing being six or seven
shots over par wasn’t a bad thing at the U.S. Open, I pressed and
played more aggressively, which didn’t work out very well for
He said, because there are very competitive players at the U.S.
Open, he learned little he can use in his teaching position.
But since he played in the open, he is looking to play in
several area tournaments, including the Colorado Open. He thinks
playing in the U.S. Open may exempt him from having to qualify for
Preeo said he is considering the possibility of a return to
qualifying school, where success earns exemption from qualifying
for other tournaments. He added that he’ll make the qualifying
school decision later in the year.
In addition to his job teaching techniques to golfers at the
Englewood learning center, he also was the head golf coach at Valor
Christian High School in Highlands Ranch last season and plans to
return to that post in the fall.
Last year, his Valor players shot a total score of 429 to win
the state Class 4A title and Preeo was named Class 4A Boys Golf
Coach of the Year.
He said there isn’t a lot of difference between teaching at the
learning center and working with the high school golfers.
“I don’t really change my coaching and teaching approach whether
I work with adults or the Valor golfers,” he said. “However, I do
determine my approach to teaching by the level of hand-eye
coordination and length of the attention span of the students.”
He said, like teaching at the academy, coaching and teaching at
Valor is fun but it also comes along with the pains of dealing with
the paperwork of being the head coach.
Preeo was born in California, he played golf at the University
of the Pacific and won a Big West Conference Championship.
Later, he coached at Pacific for four years. During that time,
two of his players were selected NCAA All-Americans. Twice his team
finished in the NCAA Division I top 25.
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