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Little Patriots Star Pulling Another Big Sports Upset in Massachusetts?

Former diminutive New England star Danny Woodhead is closing in on qualifying for golf's U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline.

On June 12 former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will play in a made-for-TV golf event, The Match. He's clearly picked the wrong partner.

Not that Aaron Rodgers is a slouch on the course. But why go with the Green Bay Packers quarterback when you could play alongside a former teammate who is on the verge of qualifying for the U.S. Open?

“Maybe," jokes Danny Woodhead, "Tom needs to pick his partners more wisely.”

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Patriots - Danny Woodhead Golf
Patriots - Danny Woodhead Giants

Initially cut by the New York Jets in 2010, the 5-foot-8 Woodhead out of Nebraska's Division II Chadron State quickly became a folk hero in New England. In his first game as a Patriot, he scampered for a 22-yard touchdown and ultimately developed into a valuable weapon on offense and special teams for three years. As a Patriot, he rushed for 1,199 yards with 10 rushing touchdowns and four receiving scores.

He scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl XLVI loss to the New York Giants, and finished his career with the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens before retiring in 2017.

“I was embraced so ridiculously by the New England community," he said. "And, it’s funny, in the grand scheme of things, I only played there three years, but everyone there treated me so well. And the fans were so amazing to me. I have a huge place in my heart for New England.”

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Now, Woodhead is making another improbable run to potential stardom in Massachusetts. As a golfer.

After advancing in his local qualifier in Omaha, Woodhead is one step away from qualifying for the U.S. Open, which is being played at The Country Club in Brookline June 16-19.

If he makes it through a 36-hole final qualifier on June 6 at Springfield (Ohio) Country Club, the 37-year-old Woodhead will return to New England as a winner in another sport.

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Patriots - Brady and Woodhead
Bill Belichick

“Would it be special? Oh my gosh, it would be special to somehow qualify. Not a lot of people get to do stuff like this,” he said. “And for (the U.S. Open) to be in Brookline? That’s the craziest thing about it. That’s where everything started for me in my career. Yeah, sure, I was with the Jets, but (New England) is really where it all started.”

Former teammates Shane Vereen, Julian Edelman and Brian Hoyer recently texted Woodhead, and he sent a light-hearted Tweet inviting Bill Belichick to be his caddie in Brookline.