Saratoga's Matt Marshall has been been a friend of amateurgolf.com nearly since Day 1, playing in nine Tournament Series events, starting with the (now defunct) Mission Viejo Championship and most recently tying for seventh at the Monterey Bay Championship.
While we've been accustomed to seeing Marshall's name at the top of our events and other Northern California Golf Association tournaments, he couldn't seem to break through with a victory in a good-sized event.
That was until 2008, where he broke through in dramatic fashion, scoring a hometown win at the Ernie Pieper Santa Clara County Amateur after firing a career-best round of 62 in the second round.
He sandwiched the 62 with a pair of 71's at the San Jose Country Club to win the event by three strokes.
"I haven't won to many events, even though I've been playing in a bunch of NCGA and amateurgolf.com tournaments," said Marshall. "The week of the Ernie Pieper everything was clicking. The 62 was my lowest ever score, tournament and overall, my putter was just on fire. I was making everything I looked at on the green and golf is a lot easier when that's the case."
Prior to that, Marshall's top achievement was a 3rd place finish at the 2006 NCGA Stroke Play Championship.
With his first victory under his belt, Marshall will try his hand at an amateur major, the Spirit of America Classic, starting July 3 at the BurningTree Country Club in Alabama.
"This will be my first time in Alabama," said Marshall. "I'm just going to trust my game, every time I tee it up, I want to win, but other than that I don't have any number set in my mind."
This will be Marshall's second time competing in a major, the first coming when he made it through medalist play of the 2007 U.S. Amateur at Olympic Club, only to fall 1-up to Kyle Dickey of South Carolina.
The former University of California - Davis golfer has a few more classes to finish up before he tries his hand at the pro game, where he is considering a shot at Q School in the fall.
"I'm definitely going to try to pursue a professional career," said Marshall. "Down the road I feel I'll regret it if I don't give it a shot."