The New Hampshire-native and recent Dartmouth graduate is gaining momentum and confidence on the golf course but still carries with him a rather ‘New England’ type of approach.
To say he has a chip on his shoulder would be an understatement. He’s out to prove that he can play with the guys from the south and he’s not afraid to do it his way.
Complete with his 10-finger, baseball-style grip, Williamson and his recent climb up the amateur ranks resembles the rise fellow northerner Keegan Bradley has enjoyed on the PGA Tour.
“Give us one chance. That’s our motto up here,” Williamson said. “Give us one chance and we’ll make the most of it. Northern people grind on the golf course. When things don’t go our way, we stay in tournaments.
“Keegan is awesome, he can grind. It’s great to see someone blaze the trail.”
The similarities are undeniable. Both players play their own way, are able to battle the elements --- and any other less-than-perfect distractions --- and simply don’t care what you think. They both stayed north for college and learned how to win the hard (and cold) way.
Bradley, of course, will hope to defend his biggest career victory later this month at the PGA Championship. Williamson? After a pair of huge victories earlier this summer, he’s going for his marquee title later this month at the U.S. Amateur. And like Bradley at the PGA Championship, Williamson knows he can win it --- even if you don’t think so.
“I definitely know I can win it,” said Williamson, who plans on attending PGA Tour Q-school in the fall depending on the additional exemptions earned in the next few months as an amateur. “I won two big tournaments this summer and if I play like I’m capable of playing, it’s certainly not out of the question.”
Williamson put himself on the map with his wins last month at the North & South Amateur and the Southern Amateur. But the 6-foot-4 Williamson, ranked No. 3 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com U.S. Player Rankings (11th in the World) has been winning since he started at Dartmouth four years ago.
This season, he put the finishing touches on perhaps the best career the Ivy League has ever seen. He was named the Ivy’s player of the year three times, having won the league championship three times, too.
All of that winning knowledge and the ability to close in a pressure-packed environment, regardless of where it happened and who it was against, has certainly helped Williamson this summer.
“At Dartmouth, I had a lot of chances to win tournaments,” he said. “I learned what it’s like to win. So, when it came time earlier this summer to close, I knew what to do because I’ve been in this position before.”
This week, Williamson is joining many other U.S. Amateur competitors at the Western Amateur in Illinois. The goal, of course, is to get back into tournament golf and, in particular, play a match play event in preparation for what is hopefully a run later this month at Cherry Hills.