Cameron Champ was all business on Thursday at Prairie Dunes
by Art Stricklin, AmateurGolf.com
HUTCHINSON, Kansas (July 13, 2017) – Long-driving Texas A&M senior Cameron Champ scored the biggest hit of his amateur career Thursday, winning the 114th annual Trans-Mississippi Championship after the fourth round was cancelled due to storms around Prairie Dunes Country Club.
He led the tournament by four shots over 2015 Trans-Miss winner Collin Morikawa after the third round Thursday morning, as the 72-hole tournament was set for a 36-hole day.
Four strokes will go in the books as Champ's official margin of victory, but the Sacramento, Calif. resident had already stretched the lead to five shots -- and as many as 7 after making birdies on for of the first six holes in the final round -- when dangerous weather forced tournament officials to halt play Thursday afternoon and decide to end the tournament at 54 holes.
Champ posted a three-round total of 9-under 201, for his first significant amateur win outside of college. But his solid play and prodigious drives started to gain national attention when he finished the first round of the U.S. Open in the top-10, and ended as one of two amateurs to make the 36-hole cut at Erin Hills Golf Club.
“I had planned a big summer of amateur golf and this is a great addition,” Champ said. “It has all come together at Texas A&M this year and making the cut at the U.S. Open was a great confidence boost.”
Champ has trained with noted golf instructor Sean Foley for several years and gained national media attention at the Open this year when he outdrove Rory McIlroy several times in a pre-tournament practice round with future Texas A&M teammate Walker Lee. (McIlroy missed the cut at Erin Hills while Champ played all four rounds.)
Champ had four birdies in the third round, but put the prestigious event out of reach for anyone else with an eagle 3 on the par 5 17th hole early Thursday. Morikawa finished second with a third round 67 (205 total), which tied him with former Lipscomb University golfer Stoney Crouch, who fired 69 in the final round.
Another Texas A&M golfer, Chandler Phillips, shot a third round 64 this morning for the low round of the week. He finished the tournament solo fourth at 206. He scorched the iconic course with six birdies and no bogeys in his stellar round. Franklin Haung, a senior at Stanford University, who was a shot back of Champ going to the final day, recorded a third round 72 for a 208 and a tie for fourth with Florida amateur Tyler Stafaci, who had an early 66 Thursday. Defending champion Will Zalatoris finished tied for 10th with a 68-211 total, along with California amateur Stewart Hagestad, the low amateur at this year’s Masters Tournament.
Hagestad -- whose odds of a Walker Cup bid just keep getting better and better -- was one of two mid-amateurs to survive the 36-hole cut; in the end he edged Draegen Majors of Tulsa by a single shot for the low mid-am honor.
ABOUT THE Trans-Miss Championship
The Trans-Miss is one of the oldest and
most storied golf tournaments in the United
For 106 years the championship
was played in a match play format.
Past champions include Jack Nicklaus (1958
and 1959), Charles Coe (1947, 1949, 1952 and
1956), Deane Beman (1960), George Archer
(1963), Ben Crenshaw (1972), Gary Koch
(1973), Bob Tway (1978), Mark Brooks (1978)
and other professional tour notables. In
1987 the championship was changed to a mid-
amateur age requirement, and a senior division
was also added. Starting in 2010, the Trans-
Mississippi Championship, returned to its roots
open amateur tournament, and immediately
established itself as a "must-play" among
top collegiate and mid-am players, while
a 72-hole stroke play format. The field size
144 players from Trans-
Mississippi Golf Association member clubs (or
players receiving a special invitation from the
Championship Committee). After 36 holes, a cut
made to the low 54 and ties who play the final
View Complete Tournament Information