It sure was great to be an Oklahoma State Cowboy over the weekend as two OSU golfers won premier amateur events. Here are a few other of my observations from the past week of amateur golf.
• How ‘bout them Cowboys: With Peter Uihlein winning the Sahalee Players Championship by seven shots and Kevin Tway winning the Players Amateur by seven shots it was absolute dominance by the Oklahoma State teammates. What made Uihlein’s victory so impressive was his total tournament score of 17-under 271. That was good for a new tournament record low, beating Ryan Moore’s 272 in 2004.
Keep in mind though, Uihlein did it at The Home Course. This year, the Sahalee was not played at it’s usual Sahalee Country Club because of the U.S. Senior Open later this summer. As for Tway, with a bogey-free 65 in the final round he earned himself a sponsor’s exemption in to next year’s Verizon Heritage along with a nice looking trophy.
• Girl Power: If you take a look at the leaderboard at the U.S. Women’s Open, you would see that six amateur ladies made the cut at Oakmont. Jennifer Johnson finished the highest at T-41. Other amateurs making the cut over the weekend included Christine Wong (T-55), Lisa McCloskey (T-62), Danielle Kang (64th), Kelli Shean (T-65), and Tiffany Lim (68th).
• Holding their own: Both defending champions of this week’s premier amateur events backed up last year’s performances with solid showings in 2010. Last year’s Sahalee winner, Nick Taylor finished third, giving the locals something to cheer about. Taylor as you may recall, just recently finished his collegiate career at Washington. At the Players Amateur, Bud Cauley finished 18th and looked like he was going to make a run after shooting a 2-under 69 in Round 2. Unfortunately, Cauley shot 74 in Round 3 and only managed an even-par 71 in the final round. He still played well enough to finish in the top 20, tying for 18th place.
• Up and Comer?: Dominc Bozzelli won the Eastern Amateur over the weekend at Elizabeth Manor G&CC in Portsmouth, Va. With a four stroke victory over Evan Beck and Case Cochran, the 19-year-old Bozzelli will gain an enormous amount of confidence.
Bozzelli will be a key part to the the future of Auburn Golf in the fall, but with a win over the summer and scores like he shot (66-68-67-64 for 15-under), his college coach Nick Clinard probably can’t wait for the school year to begin. Another reason Auburn fans should be excited is Blayne Barber, who had to sit out last year after transferring from UCF. Barber tied for fourth at the Players Amateur.
• Exciting Summer: I must say that as the U.S. Amateur Championship draws nearer and nearer, I keep getting more excited. This summer we have seen several of the nation’s top golfers close out tournaments and win over impressive fields.
What makes the U.S. Amateur so intriguing is that it will feel like a tournament of champions. I have been at Golfweek almost five years now, and I can’t remember an amateur summer when so many of the top-ranked amateurs won so many events. Several players will strive to be medalist later in August, but will anyone really care about that? The potential talent we could see go mono-e-mono at match play has me giddy.
Is it too early to start talking about Walker Cup lists?