Doug Krikorian / Viewpoint

With Encouragement From Long Beach's Very Own Universal Man, Rick Bryson, Wilson High-LB State Grad Torey Edwards Is On The Threshold Of Qualifying For The U.S. Open, Not Impossible For The Only Amateur Golfer In History To Shoot Two Rounds Of 58

Mr. Krikorian, an award winning journalist and author of two books, earned multiple awards in his 22 years of writing for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and 22 years for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is happily retired.

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No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(June 2, 2021, 8:50 p.m.) -- Rick Bryson, a universal man born with a knack for playing sports and making money, isn't given to embellishment.

But the one-time football and baseball luminary at Poly High and Long Beach State---he's in both schools athletic hall of fames---who has built a successful business called Bryson Financial and who has been an influential member of the Virginia Country Club and who has played golf across the decades with the likes of Freddie Couples, John Merrick, John Mallinger, Paul Goydos, Patrick Cantlay and even presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford and who will tell you with a straight face and insistence that the best of the hundreds of golfers he's played with is a gentleman named Torey Edwards.

``I used to think he could rival any of the players I played with, but I now think he's the best I've ever played with--and I've played with a lot of great players,'' says Mr. Bryson, who, alas, does not include his close pal George Heuser on the list.

Rick Bryson is seated Wednesday morning on a chair in the sumptuous downstairs sporting parlor---four large screen TV sets, a huge glass-enclosed wine rack, a ping pong table, a shuffle board, an expansive view of Alamitos Bay---of his luxurious 8,000-square foot mansion on The Peninsula with Torey Edwards perched on a couch across from him.

Wealthy Long Beach financier Rick Bryson holding his Chevalier King Charles/ Poodle puppy as he listens to Torey Edwards discuss his US Open hopes

It turns out that Mr. Edwards, like Mr. Bryson, is also quintessential Long Beach---Lowell, Rogers, Wilson, LB State---and even works these days as a wealth manager for Bryson Financial.

It turns out that the two men in mid March partnered in the Trans-Mississippi Junior-Senior championship at the famous Pinehurst Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C., and wound up finishing second in a large, competitive field.

Long Beach golfer Torey Edwards (left) and LB’s Universal Man Rick Bryson pose between a statue of Payne Stewart at the Pinehurst Country Club in North Carolina after reaching the podium at the Trans-Mississippi Junior-Senior Championship

It turns out that that Rick Bryson has been so impressed with Torey Edwards' skills on the links that it's not surprising to him that Mr. Edwards is on the threshold of actually qualifying for the upcoming U.S. Open, no easy task even for a guy who was the Southern California Golf Association Amateur Golfer of the Year in 2020 and has set course records with scoring rounds of 58 at Recreation Park in LB and Annandale Golf Club in Pasadena.

``We actually had a Virginia golf pro named Mike Miles qualify for the Open in 2009, so it certainly isn't an impossibility,'' says Mr. Bryson.

``Rick has been behind me all the way on this Open try, giving me great encouragement,'' says the 39-year-old Edwards, a slender, handsome, 6-0 foot, 175 pound bachelor, who doubtless ranks among LB's most eligible.

Well, Torey Edwards certainly showed at the first Open qualifying tournament in early May at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course where he finished on top that he's capable of such an accomplishment.

``Certainly, that gives you a little momentum and confidence for your next challenge---at least you hope it does,'' he says.

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And his next challenge will come Monday at the Rolling Hills Country Club where he and 90 other contestants will battle it out for the opportunity to participate in the upcoming U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla.

If he is among the top five finishers at the Rolling Hills event, it's expected he would qualify for the Open and join an imposing group---an estimated 156---that will tee off on June 17.

``I'm sure I'll be a little nervous, but I have a very different approach now than I did when I competed professionally and it was my main job,'' he says ``Now it's become a hobby. Now it's more fun for me. No longer is it the exhausting grind it was for me for so long.''

Indeed, Torey Edwards, after playing exceptionally at LB State where his teammate and best friend was the future PGA golfer John Merrick, he decided to turn pro after completing college where he earned a communications degree.

Torey Edwards relaxing at Rick Bryson’s bayside villa on The Peninsula

He was 22 at the time, and had enjoyed a lot of success both at Wilson, where he won the Moore League individual title his senior year, and at LB State, where his team won a the Big West title one season and made it to the NCAA tournament.

But for seven years, Torey Edwards endured what so many golfers do in attempting to earn their PGA card, going on what is known in the sport as the mini-tours, playing in modest tournaments throughout the United States, as well as Mexico and Canada.

``A very tough, draining experience,'' he says ``For more than 30 weeks a year, you live in cars and buses and airplanes and motels and coffee shops as you play in small tournaments all over the place,'' he says. ``It seemed like I went to almost every state in the country.''

``Even the `Dakotas?'' I wonder.

``Yep,'' he replies quickly. ``Played in both North and South Dakota.''

And, of course, he revealed he even played in that idyllic oasis near where I grew up---Fresno.

``And you have to pay all of your own expenses---including the entry fees that always were around $1,000,'' he says.

The most money he earned was the $22,720 he came away from in a winning effort in Jupiter, Fl., where he actually resided for a time.

``I just got tired of it after awhile, and golf, for the first time in my life, was no longer fun for me,'' says Mr. Edwards, who also was an exceptional soccer play during his high school years.

So, he returned to Long Beach, hooked on with Rick Bryson's company, has done well financially, and decided a few years ago to petition the USGA to regain his amateur status, which eventually was granted.

And now, ironically, he has a chance to play on the favorite golf course of Phil Mickelson, a San Diego native.

``It has to be an inspiration to you what Phil Mickelson did winning the PGA at 50,'' I say to Mr. Edwards.

``Absolutely,'' he says. ``Golf I think is the toughest sport there is mentally. You can play a shot perfectly, and you still can miss. So many things can go wrong every time you hit the ball. You just have to stay in the moment, and not let bad shots unravel you.

``When I started on the pro tour, I was too wound up. I was too immature. I'd let things that happened badly linger with me. Mentally, I think I'm so much stronger than I was 17 years ago. Just look what Phil Mickelson accomplished after missing so many cuts the past few years. He showed that anything is possible in golf.''

It certainly already has been for Torey Edwards.

Mr. Edwards now holds the distinction of being the only amateur in golf history to shoot two rounds of 58.

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Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.

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