Doc Redman shows uncommon brilliance in U.S. Amateur triumph

USGA

Doc Redman shows uncommon brilliance in U.S. Amateur triumph

Amateur

Doc Redman shows uncommon brilliance in U.S. Amateur triumph

LOS ANGELES – When Doc Redman was 14 years old, he decided he was tired of not being a great putter. For a whole year, he focused only on hitting the ball on the center of the putter face. The next year, he worked solely on his distance control and hitting straight putts. By the third year, he was perfecting his stroke on breaking putts.

Redman’s dad, John, estimates his son hit about 7,000 putts a week in those three years, and dad would fish nearly every putt out of the hole.

“I’ve got videos of us standing in the snow while he putted, and standing in the rain with an umbrella over his head,” John Redman said. “He was not a natural. It was lots and lots and lots of hard work, and he put it in.”

Fast forward to Sunday at historic Riviera Country Club and it was Doc Redman’s putter that shined in the 19-year-old Clemson sophomore’s 37-hole victory over Doug Ghim at the 117th U.S. Amateur. Especially in clutch time.

Two down with two holes to play, Redman hit 3-wood onto the back of the par-5 17th green. Throughout the first 34 holes, Redman made crucial putts from all distances. He had 12 straight one-putts in the morning session and had already made three putts from outside 30 feet.

“When I see one go in I definitely get big eyes and know that I can make anything,” Redman said.

Staring elimination in the face, Redman struck his 60-footer for eagle and sank it. Then on the par-4 18th, he stuck his approach to 9 feet and made that one, too, to force an extra hole.

Three years ago, Ghim held a 1-up lead on the 36th hole at the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links, but ended up losing to Byron Meth in 37 holes. Unfortunately for the Texas senior, history repeated itself. Ghim pulled his 3-wood left of the green at the famed par-4 10th hole, his ball coming to rest in thick rough and behind some palm trees. His next two shots found two separate greenside bunkers, and Ghim eventually conceded birdie to Redman.

“It was do or die for him, and he did it,” Ghim said.

Doc Redman celebrates after making his putt on the 36th hole to push his match against Doug Ghim to extra holes during the 2017 U.S. Amateur final. (USGA/Chris Keane)

John Redman doesn’t know where his son got the clutch gene, or the ability to stay calm under pressure. When the Redmans would travel during Doc’s junior-golf days, it was Doc who handled issues with airlines and hotels.

“When he’d see me getting a little hot, he’d say, ‘Dad, you step back and let me handle this,’” said John Redman, who flew from the family’s home in Raleigh, N.C., to Los Angeles on Saturday night.

Mature beyond his years, but Redman, like he was with his putting stroke, was always willing to get better. He works with two mental coaches at Clemson and also scours golf books for advice and tips on how to improve his game and develop a winning mentality.

“I learned a lot about being positive and how you can mentally change the outcome of things, and how it makes such a difference,” Redman said. “And that really led to me being very positive and reassuring of myself.”

Redman won twice as a freshman for the Tigers while posting six other top 10s, a school record for a freshman. This summer, he notched top 10s at the Northeast and Southern amateurs, and was runner-up at the Western Amateur. In addition to his triumph at Riviera, Redman also secured a spot on the 2017 U.S. Walker Cup team.

For as good as Redman is in golf, he’s equally as brilliant, showing in interest in the stock market and securing a math internship at Clemson. Clemson assistant Jordan Byrd said after Redman came to him after his first semester and asked how he could get into the Honors College.

“No one’s ever asked that before,” Byrd said.

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney has a saying: When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.

There’s a lot that Redman does that is uncommon, from the way he putted Sunday at Riviera to his thirst for knowledge. And he now has the world’s attention, too, forever as the 117th U.S. Amateur champion.

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