Porter Cup: Wu Rides Hot Putter, Wins in Inaugural Attempt
22 Jul 2017
by David McPherson of

see also: View results for Porter Cup, Niagara Falls Country Club, Brandon Wu Rankings

Brandon Wu stands with the trophy after winning the 2017 Porter Cup
Brandon Wu stands with the trophy after winning the 2017 Porter Cup

LEWISTON, NY (July 22, 2017) - On a day that started with a logjam on the leaderboard, Brandon Wu wowed the fans —and his fellow competitors alike — with his flawless performance. With the low score of the day (and of the week) Wu fired a bogey-free final round -6 (64) to finish at -11 for the tournament and claim The Porter Cup Trophy, along with the coveted green jacket of amateur golf, by three shots over Christopher Petefish.

Playing in his inaugural Porter Cup, the Stanford sophomore showed no signs of nerves. Instead, he separated himself from the competition on the final day thanks to a combination of a hot putter and accurate approaches.

“Putting well really instills confidence in your game because if you can putt you can save your game and your score,” Wu said. “I hit my irons really good today … I only missed one green. It was a big advantage to be on all those greens and have opportunities for birdies, so it was nice to see a few of those roll in.”

A few roll in is an understatement. Wu made close to 150 feet of putts on the day; his flat stick was rolling the ball beautifully on the rain-softened greens at Niagara Falls Country Club. Wu dropped putts from everywhere with ease.

After birdies on the third and fourth holes, Wu closed out the front side with five straight pars. On the backside, however, is when he really heated up — making three consecutive birdies on 10-12. He added one more for good measure on 15, leading to an anticlimactic finish. Even the Marshalls knew this was a wrap long before the final putt dropped; one of them was seen sipping a Molson Canadian in one hand and smoking a cigar, while holding the “Quiet Please!” sign on the other hand, from the 14th hole on.

Brandon Wu and supporters
Wu’s mother and his little brother followed along for the entire round. The winner said this made his victory that much more special. “They don’t get to watch me too often, so it was great to have them here with me.”

Wu’s Stanford teammate Bradley Knox, playing a few groups ahead, nearly matched Wu’s heroics – shooting a 65 )-5, that vaulted him 8 spots up the leaderboard to finish in a T5.

Playing in the final pairing with Wu, fan favorite Gavin Hall, playing in his sixth – and most likely final – Porter Cup, could not match Wu’s brilliant play. The Pittsford, NY native, shot his fourth consecutive round in the 60s – a 2 under 68 that left him at -7 for the tournament and four shots back, good for solo third place. Though the course was familiar for the New York State native, he felt the track was more challenging this time around.

Previous: Porter Cup: Gavin Hall in position to win elusive title

“It played difficult this year,” Hall said. “There was a lot of rough and the pins were in tough positions. You had to think your way around the course. I felt like not all of us were able to go as low as we usually do. Today was optimal for scoring conditions and Brandon exposed that shooting 64, that was special!"

“It’s just how this game is, you don’t win too often,” Hall added. “I was right in position. I feel I have a lot to be proud of with all the expectations and pressure to play well here, and to do so. I handled myself well. I feel I can take a lot of confidence from this tournament.”

Looking ahead, Hall hopes to qualify for the U.S. Amateur and “sneak” on to the Walker Cup team with a few good finishes in the upcoming weeks. Then, he plans to head to Q-School.

Travis Smyth, playing in the final group with Hall and Wu made three consecutive birdies of his own on the backside, but it was too little too late. The Aussie finished at -5 for the tournament to finish fourth.

Garrett Rank was the top Canadian. He finished with a solid -4 on the final day that left him T5; Rank also claimed the best Mid-Amateur Award. Caught by the scoring tent afterwards, the Elmira, Ontario, native was pleased with his performance; he hopes that he can take these good vibes into the RBC Canadian Open next week at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario.

“I started off with a double bogey, but then played really well after that,” Rank said. “The course was in great shape and there were some tricky pin positions. My confidence is moving in the right direction.”

After taking time for a few sips of champagne, Wu was set to fly back to the West Coast to try to qualify for the U.S. Amateur on Tuesday and then play in the Western Amateur next week.

“I hope to keep it rolling and keep playing well,” he concluded.

Results: Porter Cup
1NYBrandon WuScarsdale, NY120068-66-71-64=269
2CAChris PetefishDanville, CA90066-69-70-67=272
3NYGavin HallPittsford, NY70069-67-69-68=273
4AustraliaTravis SmythAustralia70066-69-70-70=275
T5OHIan HoltStow, OH70070-70-70-66=276

View full results for Porter Cup

ABOUT THE Porter Cup

One of the premier amateur events in the nation, this 72-hole stroke play invitational has lots of extra activities that give this event a special flavor. The winning player receives a green blazer, as well as an invitation to the Master of the Amateurs tournament in Melbourne, Australia. Pre-tournament qualifying is a few weeks prior to the event and approximately five spots are available. Starting in 2023, the men's and women's Porter Cup championships will run con currently with 54 players in each field and alternating tee times.

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