Thumbs up: USA | Thumbs down: Kim Kim
The amateur season has begin and there were some great accomplishments and some sad news last weekend. It’s time for thumbs up and thumbs down to review the week in amateur golf.
1.) Joseph Bramlett. The Stanford grad stepped back in to the winner’s circle with a victory at the Northeast Amateur in Rumford, R.I. The last time Bramlett won something so prestigious was his freshman year of college when he helped the Cardinal to a national title. His amateur record since has been pretty quiet. What made his two-stroke victory so impressive was the fact he shot four straight rounds in the 60s (69-68-66-67).
2.) Emily Tubert. With no more Kimberly Kim, Alexis Thompson or Jennifer Song playing in women’s amateur match play events, could we have found the new queen of match play? On her way to winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, Tubert defeated some pretty big names. In the Round of 16 she defeated Annie Park, followed by a quarterfinal win over Victoria Park. In the semifinals she defeated Sara Grantham. Those wins are great, but the one that counted the most was her final victory over Lisa McCloskey.
3.) Team USA. First the ladies took care of business on American soil winning the Curtis Cup, and now the guys took care of business across the pond. At this year’s Palmer Cup held at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland the Americans defeated the Europeans 13-11. It was the first time Team USA won overseas since 2002. The team was highlighted by this year’s NCAA champion Scott Langley, Golfweek’s Player of the Year Russell Henley, and UC Irvine standout John Chin. Man of the match goes to David Chung, who won all four of his matches.
1.) Kimberly Kim. We were under the impression Kim would play in at least one more U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, but that won’t happen now. Kim has decided to turn pro next week at the U.S. Women’s Open. She is a talent the amateur world will miss. Kim will leave with an outstanding amateur resume – a two-time winner at the Curtis Cup and the youngest winner of the U.S. Women’s Amateur at age 14 when she defeated Amanda Blumenherst. Amateur golf will just not be the same without her.
2.) Whitney Neuhauser. Neuhauser was a star last year for the University of Virginia. She was anything but at the WAPL. With back-to-back rounds of 82, Neuhauser finished T-135 and missed out of the match play by 12 shots.
3.) Top amateurs. I had to double check the Northeast Amateur results to make sure I read them correctly. Some of the top amateurs struggled at the short Wannamoisett Country Club. Bank Vongvanij shot 18-over 294. Hunter Hamrick and Brooks Koepka tied for 68th at 17 over. Bramlett won with a total of 6 under, so I don’t need to tell you that they weren’t close.