Garrick inches closer to breakthrough at U.S. Am

Jonathan Garrick during the 2014 U.S. Amateur at the Atlanta Athletic Club Highlands Course.

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – If anyone is overdue for a victory, it's Jonathan Garrick.

Last week, the UCLA junior lost in a playoff at the Canadian Amateur after being in contention for all 72 holes. In March, the then-19-year-old took on Patrick Rodgers at one of college golf’s most prestigious events, the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, coming up just short of claiming his first collegiate victory.

Garrick is in no rush. He knows it simply is a matter of time.

“I’m just going to keep putting myself in that position (at the top of the leaderboard) with good golf, and it hopefully it will come together,” Garrick said.

A native of Atherton, Calif., Garrick continued his good play Monday at the U.S. Amateur, firing a "stress-free" 4-under 67 at Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands Course and is just two shots off the stroke-play lead.

On Monday, many players said the two courses in suburban Atlanta were “driver-of-the-ball” courses, and Garrick hit every fairway in the first round.

“I’m driving the ball the best I ever have in my life,” Garrick said.

He added that his iron play and putting are coming together as well.

“Just to play from the middle of the fairway makes the course a lot easier, and I’m hitting my irons well, too,” Garrick said. “I think I only missed two or three greens today.

“I’ve been working on a few things since (NCAAs), and I’ve only seen it in bits and pieces. I played well at the Western (Amateur), but it didn’t show in my scores. I just kept telling myself it’s going to come together soon, and then at the Canadian it did. And still feels good.”

To make the cut in just his second U.S. Amateur is one of his three goals for the week. Garrick approaches the tournament as two separate events: stroke play and match play.

He wants to play well Tuesday on the Riverside Course to make a run at medalist honors, and then get ready for match play, which is set to begin Wednesday morning on the Highlands Course.

“I’m just going to keep putting myself in that position with good golf," Garrick said, "and hopefully it will come together.”

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