Persistence and practice paid off for Kevin Garrelick, who on Monday won two free tickets to Sunday's championship round of the U.S. Open.
Garrelick, 39, of Harlem, and seven other amateur putters were finalists in the CityParks Putting Challenge held in the atrium of the Trump Tower in Midtown over lunch. The eight won lunch-time putting events held at office buildings over the past two weeks from Wall Street to Central Park.
Funny thing is, Garrelick almost didn't make it.
He muffed his initial putt in the lobby of 220 E. 42nd St. and then left for lunch.
"Bothered," while scarfing a foot-long club sandwich, he decided to try again, coughing up the $10 for charity that would give him one more chance at U.S. Open bliss. He didn't miss another shot, sinking five straight putts to advance to Monday's finals.
His victory there was a triumph over futility. In the final sudden death final round that went three rounds, he was the only putter of the four that remained to sink a 15-foot putt on a makeshift putting green.
Lucky for Garrelick, who made 4-of-6 putts, that he didn't have to rely on PGA pro Len Mattiace of Mineola, who was designated to shoot on behalf of those who did not sink the required number of putts in the first two rounds. Mattiace went 3 for 6.