Amateur Cameron Champ played like a pro on Friday (USGA photo)
ERIN, Wisconsin (June 16, 2017) -- All amateurs Cameron Champ
and Scottie Scheffler
wanted to do going into the second day of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills Golf Course
, was make the cut for the weekend and get to play two additional days in the second golf major of the year.
Instead, they put themselves inside well instead the cut line and in position to have a major impact of the final two days of the U.S. Open.
“I just wanted to see what it would feel like to play on the weekend of a major,” said Scheffler, a senior at the University of Texas this fall and a longtime star in the Texas amateur ranks. “This is new territory for both me and Cameron, but we are great friends and it will be interesting to see what happens.”
Interesting indeed, as not only were they the only two amateurs out of 14 to make the 36-hole cut Friday, but Champ is only two shots out of the lead at 69-139, going to the weekend while Scheffler is just six back, after shooting 69-74=143.
“I’ve always felt like I had this kind of ability in me, but I haven’t displayed it always,” Champ said. “I dealt with some injuries earlier in my career and had some ups and downs, but I came into the week playing well and thought this was possible.”
After an opening 70, where he had it to five-under-par at one time in his round, Champ was even par at the turn with a birdie on No. 6 and a bogey on No. 7. But he turned it on at the par 36 Erin Hills back nine with four birdies and only a single bogey.
His final birdie came on the par 5 18th hole, rolling in a 15-foot birdie putt, just catching the edge of the cup before tumbling in and drawing a fist pump and a smile from the 22-year Texas A&M senior.
“Being the low amateur at the U.S. Open has been my goal for a long time, but I feel like I’ve sharpened up everything in my game,” Champ said. “This is my first time in the major spotlight, but I feel like it’s coming along at the right time.”
, Maverick McNealy
and Alex Smalley
came the closest to making the 36-hole cut (among the 14 amateurs) which came at one-over-par with warm, sunny and windy conditions at Erin Hills.
Anderson missed by only a single stroke shooting a second day 73, two-over-par 146. Stanford golfer Maverick McNealy and Alex Smalley each missed by two shots a 3-over by both shooting 74 on Friday.
Among the other amateurs missed the cut was Oklahoma college star Brad Dalke
, Chris Crawford
and Stewart Hagestad
, who was the low amateur at the Masters tournament in April, but shot a 75 Friday for an eight-over-par 152.
“I just couldn’t get a feel for the course and how far I was hitting it. I could never get anything going,” Hagestad said. “It was tough.”
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