U.S. Amateur Public Links: Niebrugge returns for title defense
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by Jack Persons, AmateurGolf.com
NEWTON, Kan. (July 14, 2014) -- The United
States Golf Association has decided to trade in
the old, worn out Public Links for
a newer, trendier national championship: the
Four-Ball. All the more reason for the players
at Sand Creek Station to make this
iteration of the tournament one to remember.
The 89th and final U.S. Amateur Public Links
teed off Monday morning in Newton, Kan., with
156 players vying to become the
next—and last—USAPL champion.
Defending champion Jordan Niebrugge of
Oklahoma State will be the favorite heading
into the event. He capped a banner week
in 2013 at Laurel Hill Golf Course in Lorton, Va.
with a 1-up victory over Jack Nicklaus Award
winner Michael Kim of Cal.
Count Canadian Garrett Rank as another who
could go all the way at Sand Creek Station.
Rank, who earned a runner-up finish
at the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur and medalist
honors at last year’s Public Links, is playing
some fantastic golf heading into the
event. He broke the course record last week
at the Players Amateur with a 10-under 62,
and just missed a win after a few
tough breaks down the stretch.
Palmer Cup selection and USC rising sophomore
Rico Hoey could also make some waves in the
field this year. Hoey has done
well for himself so far this summer, taking
medalist honors at the North and South
Amateur as well as fifth at the Sunnehanna
Sand Creek Station Golf Course, which is
hosting it’s first USGA championship, will play
7365 yards and par 71 this week,
though the tournament committee has a habit
of moving tee boxes around for match play.
The Public Links is neither gone nor forgotten,
and the loaded field will make sure to send off
the tournament with a few
Check back each day for AmateurGolf.com’s
full coverage of the event.