PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The U.S. Amateur’s youngest competitor won’t be sticking around for match play at Pebble Beach, but Gaven Lane will bring home loads of experience to Argyle, Texas.
Lane, who turned 14 on June 16, followed a 4-over 75 at Pebble Beach with a 6-over 78 Tuesday at Spyglass Hill to post 10 over in his U.S. Amateur debut. He felt like he hit the ball well, but like many kids his age, he struggled with his emotions in easily the biggest tournament he’s ever played.
“I learned that I need to just to let my attitude determine how I play instead of how I play determine my attitude,” Lane said. “Just to carry myself better.”
Lane is growing by the day, both physically and mentally. And as far as golf talent goes, the Class of 2023 player is already well ahead of his peers, carrying his drives 250 yards and contending in some top junior events. He was second to incoming Texas freshman Pierceson Coody at this year’s Byron Nelson Junior.
Perhaps that’s what Oklahoma State coaches Alan Bratton and Donnie Darr saw in the youngster when Lane showed up last fall to a golf camp hosted by Oklahoma State. Lane starred at the weeklong camp and in November he decided to verbally commit to the Cowboys.
The commitment raised some questions, despite current Oklahoma golfer Brad Dalke, who committed to the Sooners at age 12, proving that such a situation can work out well. (Dalke sank the winning putt at the 2017 NCAA Championship.)
Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder, the decorated former golf coach at OSU, even joked with the rising eighth-grader.
“He tells me I just levitate,” Lane said. “He goes, ’14 and he’s already committed to OSU? He doesn’t even walk, he just levitates.'”
But Lane is confident he can deliver. Lane’s father Jason, who actually raised his son a Sooner, said Gaven wanted to make a quick decision to “get it out of the way.” Not that the young Lane didn’t do his homework – he took visits to Oklahoma, TCU and Oklahoma State.
“OSU is a really good golf school, good history,” Lane said. “I like how it’s closer to home. I mean, just really couldn’t go wrong with it.”
It remains to be seen if Lane and the Cowboys made the right decision. Until then, Lane will continue to work on his game and compete. And though he won’t bring another U.S. Amateur trophy back for the state of Texas, he certainly will grow from the experience.