Southern Am champ Olsen in Palmer field
BIRMINGHAM, AL (March 17, 2014) – Zach Olsen, a freshman Oklahoma State golf team member from Memphis, is competing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week at Bay Hill Club in Orlando. The amateur Olsen is playing on a sponsor’s exemption the tournament has awarded the reigning Southern Amateur champion for the past ten years.
Olsen, 19, won the 107th Southern Am last summer at Carlton Woods Club outside Houston. He sank clutch, mid-range putts on the 72nd hole to make a 3-man playoff and on the first extra hole to win the coveted title. As a rookie on Oklahoma State’s national powerhouse team, Olsen has posted top-10 finishes in the Cowboys’ last two tournaments against strong fields of top teams and individual college stars.
He is scheduled to defend his title in the 108th Southern Am in July at The Honors Course near Chattanooga. The Southern Am is ranked by the Royal & Ancient among the top five amateur tournaments played in the U.S.
Among the past Southern Am champs to compete at Bay Hill on that sponsor invitation are current U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson and PGA Tour player Kyle Stanley, who has one Tour victory to his credit. Both are two-time Southern Am champs and each made the 36-hole cut at Bay Hill in one of their two appearances representing the storied amateur tournament. Harris English, who won the 2011 Southern Am at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, forfeited his SGA invitation to Bay Hill by turning pro soon after, but qualified on his own thanks to a strong rookie season.
The Southern Golf Association supports and promotes amateur golf by running the venerable Southern Am and two other national tournaments, plus its coveted SGA National Amateur of the Month award.
ABOUT THE Southern Amateur
The Southern Amateur, which dates back to 1902, is
one of two competitions held by the Southern Golf
Association (the other is the Southern Junior). This
is a 72-hole stroke play championship with a cut
made after 36 holes. Entries are open to any male
amateur golfer who has a current USGA Handicap
Index® not exceeding 3.4 under the USGA Handicap
System. Non-exempt players must pre-qualify at
one of the qualifying sites held across the southern
U.S. in the two months leading up to the
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