If you follow amateur golf in Nevada in any way, you know the name Brady Exber. It may be because Exber is the president of the Southern Nevada Golf Association, but more likely it is because his name is usually in the top-5 (if not 1st) in what seems like every tournament in the state. He is a member of the Nevada Hall of Fame after winning the SNGA Player-of-the-Year award eight times (and counting) and the Nevada State Am twice.
But Exber may have finally arrived in national spotlight at the 2008 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst when he made it to the Final 32 before falling to eventual semifinalist Patrick Reed of Georgia. At age 52, it was a long time coming, but well worth the wait.
“When you play in the national tournaments, you have to feel you belong in this club,” Exber told Golfweek Magazine's Ron Balicki. “Being 52 years old and being from the West, it’s sometimes difficult to feel your part of it.
"“I think I showed I can compete at this level, I now feel I’m in the club.”
It could be argued that Exber's arrival actually came two years earlier, when he liquidated his interest in Exber Inc., which owned and operated hotels in the Las Vegas area and was able to work on his game on a more regular basis.
He took top-10 finishes in the Stocker Cup and Southewestern Amateur in 2006, then followed that up with T-5th at the Pacific Coast Am and semifinal appearance in the Scratch Players (a major which was not held in 2008)
He went on to play in the 2008 U.S. Senior Open (where he was challenging for a spot in the top-20 before falling to T-41st after a difficult third round).
"First off, I was thrilled to qualify, and I went into the event with the goal of making the cut, but once I made it, I wanted a good high finish," Exber told GolfLasVegasNow.com. "But I didn't play very well on the weekend, especially on Saturday. But the course setup was very difficult on Saturday, and the scores were a lot higher than the other days."
He ended up going 73-73-78-74--298, two shots back of George Zahringer and Danny Green who shared the low-amateur spot.
As an interesting aside, Exber took the bag of Reed, the player who eliminated him in the U.S. Am, after Reed's father had to give up the spot after looping for 5 days due to blisters.
"Brady is a true gentleman, a real class act," said Reed after the tourney.