My Year in Golf: Cassie Stein
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Photos: Cherry Hills Country Club
Cherry Hills Country Club
Editor's note: For our entire "My Year in Golf" series, click here.
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Before I came to Golfweek, I had an internship with the U.S. Golf Association. Needless to say, it was definitely one of the coolest experiences of my life.
I got to travel to four of the USGA's championships over the summer: U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Amateur.
The one I was looking forward to the most was the U.S. Amateur. It is the biggest amateur event known to the golfing world, so every amateur player strives to play in this championship, and seeing the top players in the world play at one course was indescribable.
Cherry Hills has an impressive track record with USGA championships. The 1960 U.S. Open when Arnold Palmer drove the first green in the final round and went on to win; the 1990 U.S. Amateur when Phil Mickelson won; and the 1993 Senior Open when Jack Nicklaus won after coming back after a hard defeat at the U.S. Open as an amateur just 33 years before.
The images of the course replay in my head over and over again. I will never forget Nos. 1 and 10 at Cherry Hills.
No. 1 because it is so iconic. How Palmer was able to drive the green, and then seeing someone like Cal long-hitter Brandon Hagy going for it (the green) was pretty cool.
And No. 10. I feel like standing on the tee and looking down on to the fairway was a sight to see. It had the Rockies in the background, with lush fairways and undulating greens right in front of you. It is a picture-perfect hole. There was no better course I’d rather go to than Cherry Hills for my first Amateur. Oh, and the play wasn’t bad, either.
There were some pretty epic matches, too. There was the 2012 NCAA Championship rematch between Alabama’s Justin Thomas and Cal’s Max Homa, then Thomas versus Alabama teammate Bobby Wyatt and obviously, the final match between Chattanooga’s Steven Fox and Cal’s Michael Weaver.
Social media has made a huge impact on the game of golf, and there was no shortage of that at the Amateur this year. I don’t think I have ever had that much fun with social media. I got to tweet from both my account and the USGA’s with everything, from the history of the course, to interaction with players and videos with the finalists.
The 36-hole final was probably my favorite time to tweet the hole-by-hole updates, especially when Fox started his comeback on the 33rd hole and continued his run until the 37th and ultimately won the title.
In honor of my first Amateur, here are my favorite tweets from the week: