Notes: After Trans victory, Suh could be next Cal star
So far this summer, Cal junior Michael Kim has appeared in roughly every third major amateur headline, and deservedly so.
Kim put together a sophomore season that ended with Golfweek's Player of the Year honor and the Nicklaus and Haskins awards. He was low amateur at the U.S. Open and recently was named to the U.S. Walker Cup team.
As for Cal’s women, however, the most successful summer belongs to sophomore Hannah Suh. The San Jose, Calif., native was the last player into the U.S. Women’s Open when Ariya Jutanugarn withdrew (Suh missed the cut at Sebonack Golf Club), and most recently, won the Trans National Amateur on July 12.
Suh was at a Cal golf camp when the U.S. Golf Association called June 25 to inform her that she had a spot in the championship. Suh didn't recognize the number, so she didn't pick up immediately.
"It was just a great experience," she said of her first Women's Open start, even though crowds on Long Island at the beginning of the week made her a little bit nervous.
Suh had a few off days between returning from Sebonack and teeing it up at the Trans. She stayed in a cabin in Truckee, Calif., with a teammate's family during that tournament, played at Schaffer's Mill Golf and Lake Club.
To win the Trans, Suh had to overtake Ashlan Ramsey, who entered the week looking for a fourth amateur victory this summer. Suh had no idea that Ramsey, a Clemson signee, was on such a roll until after the tournament.
Suh and Ramsey were tied for third entering the fourth and final round. Suh shot a final-round 73 to overtake Ramsey, who posted a final-round 74. Suh said she excelled by keeping it in the fairway.
"When you go into that yucky stuff, I think it runs up your score," she said.
Suh is sixth months removed from her Arizona Silver Belle title, which she won with a final-round 67. In her freshman season at Cal, Suh had three top-5 finishes, including two ties for second. Her average was the second lowest on the team. Suh won't play another amateur event because school starts in a month, but she will return to Berkeley a much stronger player.
"I just feel like now it's a new year," she said.
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CONTROVERSY CLEARED: As Mike Calef ran through the match-play bracket at the Massachusetts Amateur last week, questions began swirling about his eligibility. Calef, a Massachusetts native who now resides in Texas, returned to the commonwealth to defend his state amateur title. Despite questions raised in area news outlets and on Twitter, the Massachusetts Golf Association confirms Calef was eligible for the championship.
Jesse Menachem, director of rules and competitions for the MGA, said Massachusetts residency is not a requirement to play in any of the MGA’s championships. To be eligible for a Massachusetts championship, a player must belong to a golf club in the state and maintain a current handicap at that club. Calef, a member at Brockton Country Club, meets both of those requirements.
“Mike was 100 percent eligible for the championship,” Menachem said.
Eligibility concerns put to rest, Calef should be free to enjoy his title defense in peace. The 34-year-old deserves it, too, after defeating Ian Thimble, 8 and 7, in the championship match.
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HALL OF FAME: Former PGA Tour star Lanny Wadkins was inducted into the Southern Golf Association’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday, the night before the first round at the 107th Southern Amateur. The championship is being played at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas.
Wadkins won 21 titles during his PGA Tour career, including the 1977 PGA Championship. He won the Southern Amateur two times.
“The Southern Am got me started,” Wadkins said Tuesday during a pre-tournament dinner. “The Southern has always had a special place in my heart.”
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ON A STREAK: The next player to keep a close eye on? Andrew Dorn. The Coastal Carolina junior won the North & South Amateur on July 6 at Pinehurst No. 2, then backed it up July 12 with a victory at the rain-shortened Ohio Amateur. Dorn, of West Chester, Ohio, birdied the final two holes at Brookside Golf and Country Club in Columbus to win by two.
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HOPING FOR ST. ANDREWS START: Pre-qualifying for the Ricoh Women’s British Open was played July 15 at The Berkshire Golf Club. The field consisted of 127 players, and among those, 26 advanced to final qualifying, to be played July 29 at Kingsbarns Golf Club.
Those 26 players include eight amateurs: Madelene Sagstrom, Sweden; Meghan Maclaren, England; Annabel Dimmock, England; Linnea Johansson, Sweden; Laetitia Beck, Israel; Nicola Roessler, Germany; Lauren Taylor, England; Rachael Goodall, England.