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Victory for Vogel at Amateur Pub-Links

United States Golf Association    view all articles from this source
published 14 Jul 2012

see also: United States (USGA) Amateur Public Links Championship and T.J. Vogel's rankings profile


J.T. Vogel captures the 2012 APL
-- photo USGA
By Michael Trostel, USGA

MIDWAY, Utah (July 14, 2012) -- T.J. Vogel started strongly. Then he poured it on. The 21-year-old Miami resident won the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship with a near-historic performance, defeating Kevin Aylwin, 12 and 10, at 7,670-yard, par-71 Soldier Hollow Golf Course.

Much like his beloved Miami Heat, Vogel was able to bring a championship back to South Florida in convincing fashion. His victory is the second-largest margin in APL history. In the championship match of the 1985 APL, Jim Sorenson defeated Jay Cooper, 12 and 11, at Wailua Golf Course in Lihue, Hawaii.

Vogel won the first two holes and stretched his lead to 8 up with wins at holes 11, 12 and 13. In all, Vogel made eight birdies in the morning round, including six on his last seven holes, to head to lunch with a 10-up lead.

Not even a midday downpour could cool Vogel, who continued his dominant performance in the afternoon round. After halving holes 19 through 22, Vogel won the par-3 fifth, the 23rd of the match, and closed out his opponent with a birdie on the par-5 eighth, the 26th of the match. He did not make a bogey or lose a hole all day.

“I felt [more] comfortable today than I felt the entire week,” said Vogel, a senior at the University of Florida. “Normally when I wake up I feel anxious, like I can't eat, I just want to get going. Today I was able to eat. I felt so confident that it just blocked out any of the pressures that I had. Nothing was going to stop me.”

Vogel consistently outdrove Aylwin by 40-plus yards and was hitting mid-to-short iron approaches while the 23 year old from New Smyrna Beach, Fla., was hitting hybrids or even fairway woods. For example, after both players hit driver on the sixth hole, Aylwin needed a hybrid for his approach, while Vogel hit a 7-iron.

“My length really helped today,” said Vogel. “That was probably the biggest difference. It’s a lot easier when you're hitting wedges. You can hit greens with 7‑irons all the time, but you're going to score with your wedges.”

Vogel was extended to the 18th hole in three of his first four matches at Soldier Hollow, but seemed to find his groove early in his semifinal match against 2011 APL runner-up Derek Ernst. Over his final 68 holes, Vogel made 22 birdies and just one bogey.

“The first few matches were tough,” said Vogel. “If I was a little off, I could have been going home. But I really found something in my swing when I played Ernst and it was even better today.”

Vogel transferred to the University of Florida from the University of Southern California in 2011 to be closer to his family. This spring, Vogel was named second-team All America. His plans for the next few months include the Western Amateur and U.S. Amateur, but it is next April’s event that takes 600 miles north of Miami that really caught his attention.

“It's in the back of my head,” said Vogel, “but it's too surreal right now to be thinking that I'm going to be playing in the Masters. Once I get that [likely] invitation, it will hit me.”

Earlier this year, Vogel and Aylwin were paired together during the final round of the JU Invitational, a collegiate event in Florida. Though Vogel won the tournament by two strokes, Aylwin actually outscored Vogel on the day, 70 to 74. At Soldier Hollow, the result was dramatically different.

After not trailing in either his quarterfinal or semifinal round, Aylwin struggled to find his swing from the start on Saturday, missing his opening drive into the right rough. He bogeyed four of the first 11 holes and even when he was able to make birdies – from 15 feet at both the 14th and 18th, and three feet at the 22nd – Vogel matched him.

“I wish I could have lasted a little longer out there,” said Aylwin, who has four classes left to earn his degree from the University of North Florida. “I didn’t have my swing today. I’m a feel player and my timing was off, but he played great. I made two 20-footers and chipped in, and was still 10 down.”

For his victory, Vogel receives a gold medal, custody of the James D. Standish Trophy, a 10-year APL exemption, exemptions into the next two U.S. Amateurs, a three-year exemption from local U.S. Open qualifying (provided he remains an amateur) and is likely to receive an invitation to the 2013 Masters Tournament.

United States (USGA) Amateur Public Links Championship: Top Finishers

Click on each link to view that player's ranking and performance in
Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Player Rankings points events
Place    Player
Win FL T.J. Vogel, Cooper City, FL
Runner-up FL Kevin Aylwin, New Smyrna Beach, FL
Semifinals MN Kyle Beversdorf, Plymouth, MN
Semifinals CA Derek Ernst, Clovis, CA
Quarterfinals FL Brad Schneider, Valrico, FL
Quarterfinals AZ Alberto Sanchez, Nogales, AZ
Quarterfinals Colombia Carlos Rodriguez, Colombia
Quarterfinals TX Paul McConnell, Garland, TX
Medalist CA James Erkenbeck, San Diego, CA
Final 16 NC Benjamin Griffin, Chapel Hill, NC
Final 16 TN Steven Fox, Hendersonville, TN
Final 16 AZ Cody McManus, Phoenix, AZ
Final 16 CA Michael Kim, Del Mar, CA
Final 16 CA Anton Arboleda, La Canada, CA
Final 16 CA Jake Knapp, Costa Mesa, CA
Final 16 NC Korky Kemp, Greensboro, NC
Final 16 CA Xander Schauffele, San Diego, CA
Final 32 HI Richard Hattori, Honolulu, HI
Final 32 Chinese Taipei Cheng Tsung Pan, Chinese Taipei
Final 32 UT Justin Keiley, UT
Final 32 FL Sam Saunders, Windermere, FL
Final 32 CA Bryson DeChambeau, Clovis, CA
Final 32 IL Jordan Wetsch, St. Charles, IL
Final 32 WA Alex Williams, Vancouver, WA
Final 32 CO Greg Condon, Monte Vista, CO
Final 32 Canada Garrett Rank, Canada
Final 32 MI Payne Gniewek, Trenton, MI
Final 32 FL Tyler Klava, Pace, FL
Final 32 MO Jace Long, Dixon, MO
Final 32 PA Scott McNeil, Philadelphia, PA
Final 32 TN Brett Patterson, McMinnville, TN
Final 32 UT Zac Blair, Ogden, UT
Final 32 NJ Alex Edfort, Somerset, NJ
Final 64 CA James Erkenbeck, San Diego, CA
Final 64 TX Justin Fraley, Rowlett, TX
Final 64 CA Byron Meth, San Diego, CA
Final 64 MN Tyler Ekenberg, Apply Valley, MN
Final 64 CA Joseph Prince, Chula Vista, CA
Final 64 MO Mitchell Rutledge, Creve Coeur, MO
Final 64 MN Jack Teal, Excelsior, MN
Final 64 GA Seth Reeves, Duluth, GA
Final 64 CA Aaron West, Woodland Hills, CA
Final 64 MI Chad Johnson, Plymouth, MI
Final 64 OK Casey Fernandez, McAlester, OK
Final 64 CA Ben Geyer, Arbuckle, CA
Final 64 IL Wes Hilien, Columbia, IL
Final 64 HI Ryan Kuroiwa, Aiea, HI
Final 64 NM Zach Fullerton, Albuquerque, NM
Final 64 FL Joel Dahlenburg, FL
Final 64 CA Paul Misko, Thousand Oaks, CA
Final 64 NH Chelso Barrett, Keene, NH
Final 64 ID Chris Williams, Moscow, ID
Final 64 IL Thomas O'Bryan, Aurora, IL
Final 64 AL Vic Kyatt, Hoover, AL
Final 64 Canada Michael Blair, Canada
Final 64 UT Dan Horner, Sandy, UT
Final 64 CA Cody Robinson, Discovery Bay, CA
Final 64 OK Talor Gooch, Midwest City, OK
Final 64 IL Tommy Ponce, Edwardsville, IL
Final 64 Canada Ryan Werre, Canada
Final 64 FL Sam Horsfield, Davenport, FL
Final 64 IL Shane Smith, Godfrey, IL
Final 64 OH Grant Weaver, Wooster, OH
Final 64 IA Kirby Pettitt, Carrol, IA
Final 64 CA Manav Shah, Bakersfield, CA

To view complete results, click here.

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