Swing changes, patience help Holland at Am
TULSA, Okla. – Charlie Holland was home in Dallas just before last Christmas when he and swing coach Cameron Doan began working on some swing changes.
“It was mostly lower body stuff,” said Holland, a senior at Texas. “I was kind of jumping at the ball at impact. We worked on that and a few other little things.”
Initially, the biggest impact showed in his game – and it wasn’t pretty. He struggled throughout the entire spring college season with the Longhorns, capped by a horrendous showing at the NCAA Championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. He finished 156th among the 156 in the field – five shots clear of the next-to-last finishers – with rounds of 87-81-74 for 242 (29-over par).
Distraught, Holland withdrew from the Sunnehanna Amateur two weeks later.
“That (NCAA) was probably the lowest point of my life,” Holland said.
He played in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier and just missed making the final field and then began a full summer amateur circuit. He played in the Northeast, Players, Southern, Porter Cup and Western.
His best showing was a 13th-place finish at Porter Cup, but he said, “each time out I felt I was getting closer.”
It certainly has come together this week at the U.S. Amateur. For the second consecutive year, Holland has reached the quarterfinals.
He won both his matches Thursday, defeating medalist and veteran amateur Tim Jackson, 1 up, in his morning match and then turned back Canada’s Christopher Ross, 2 and 1, in the Sweet 16. He’ll take on Peter Uihlein in the quarterfinals Friday.
“I’m really feeling good about my game,” he said. “It’s all starting to come together. The thing about a tournament like this, it’s so long, it gets tough on your mind. You have to rest mentally as well as physically.”
Holland had one special encouraging fan in his gallery Thursday, his long time friend from Dallas, Colt Knost, winner of the 2007 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links championships. Knost, now on the PGA Tour, flew in from Dallas in the morning and caught up with Holland on his fourth hole.
“It was great having Colt here,” Holland said. “He’s a good friend and been very encouraging with me.”