William Carlson has several memories when it comes to sports.
He can quickly tell anyone the story of when his Dunkirk Marauders' football team played Fredonia in three feet of snow in 1982.
He loves to share stories of his rugby days and his days working and playing at Shorewood Country Club and learning from Jack Shubert.
Photo by William?Carlson
Dunkirk native William Carlson took this photo of golf pro Rory McIlroy shooting a practice round at the Olympic Club where the U.S.?Open is being held. Carlson is volunteering at the event this week.
However, in 20 years from now, this weekend's sports extravaganza may rank right up there as one of his best memories.
Carlson, who now resides in Pacific Heights, Calif., is a member of the Olympic Club and is volunteering at the 112th U.S. Open. He is sharing the experience with high school friend Peter Gilray.
The Olympic Club is oldest athletic club in the country, according to Carlson, who is on the athletic committee.
The memorable week kicked off Wednesday night as the two decided to go to AT&T Park to catch the San Francisco Giants take on the Houston Astros. Taking in the game from center field, Gilray and Carlson watched a piece of history as Giants pitcher Matt Cain threw a perfect game.
"It was incredible," Carlson said. "In the sixth inning I knew something was going on. It's something I couldn't believe."
Thursday morning Carlson and Gilray were at the Olympic Club bright and early where Carlson is volunteering as part of the member hospitality crew for the U.S. Open.
"I was hanging out in the member tent and I am talking to these guys who are in their 60s and they are like school kids," he said. "It's neat to see these pros play on your course."
Carlson has been on the Olympic Club grounds for much of the past two weeks and has been able to interact with pros such as Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy.
"I was on the putting green and talked to Stenson," Carlson said. "I had to work during the first three practice rounds. Rory McIlroy came out and I talked to him a few week ago. Just to see where players land the balls compared to where I do, that's the most exciting thing for me. I got to see Chris Berman. All the VIPs come through the tent."
See U.S. OPEN, Page B3
What has surprised Carlson the most is the production of the event and all the work that goes into putting the U.S. Open on national television.
"It's such a huge production," he said. "We have two, 18-hole courses and a nine-hole course here. The second 18-hole course is being used for tents. It's like someone coming into your home. It's exciting is to see holes you play on every day on national television. You're sharing the course with the rest of world. I'm in international operations and I get emails and phone calls from everyone."
But it is Gilray's company which has made this U.S. Open so memorable for Carlson.
"This is a great time," he said. "It's great to catch up with him. I love my connections back home. For six years, I was on the SUNY Fredonia alumni board. Pete gives me background. He was the best man at my wedding. Getting to spend time with him is fantastic."