- Thomas Lovelock/Augusta National photo
Three of the top amateurs in the world took center stage during the month of April while two golfers from the University of Illinois led their respective teams to Big Ten Conference Championships.
A recently reinstated amateur survived a wild finish at the SOS Senior Masters while a super senior continues to rack up wins at a staggering rate.
Here's a look at the players who caught our eye during the month of April.
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AmateurGolf.com's Players of the Month for April, 2023.
The world's top-ranked women's amateur never seems to have an off month. She began the month by winning the Augusta National Women's Amateur
in a playoff over Jenny Bae and two weeks later, added a second major title by capturing the individual title at the Pac-12 Women's Championships
. On the same day she won the Pac-12 individual title, she also broke the record for the total number of weeks (136)
as the No. 1 golfer in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR), surpassing the record total of 135 weeks set by Leona Maguire of the Republic of Ireland in 2018.
A birdie-eagle start in his first Masters appearance was an indicator a special week was in store for the reigning U.S. Amateur champion at Augusta National
. After carding back-to-back rounds of 68, Bennett found himself tied for third place heading into the weekend, just four back of Brooks Koepka and two back of eventual champion Jon Rahm. Over the first 36-holes, Bennett beat his playing partners Max Homa (E), the world’s fifth-ranked player and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (-1), the defending Masters champion, by a combined 15 shots, while his 36-hole total of 136 was the second-best mark in Masters history behind Ken Venturi (135) in 1956. He would eventually tie for 16th overall at 2-under par to win the Silver Cup as low amateur.
Bennett also tied for 16th among individuals at the SEC Championship where he helped the Aggies to a runner-up finish and was named a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award.
ADRIEN DUMONT de CHASSART
A win at the Fighting Illini Spring Invitational and top-five finishes at the Big Ten Championships (t-5) and the Augusta (2nd) and Missouri Tiger Invitationals (t-2) lands the Belgian on this month's list of top amateur performances. Dumont de Chassart's win at the inaugural Fighting Illini Spring Invitational marked the fourth of his college career and his first since his last victory at the Boilermaker Invitational in April of 2022. After winning their eighth straight Big Ten Conference title, the Fightin' Illini earned the top seed in the Bath Regional at Eagle Eye Golf Club; East Lansing, Mich.
The frontrunner for men's collegiate player of the year honors, Aberg successfully defended his individual title at the Big 12 Championships
and had a pair of top-10 finishes at The Calusa Cup (t-4) and the ASU Thunderbird Invitational (t-7). Aberg was dominant in successfully defending his Big Ten Conference title. Playing in abysmal conditions at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., the world's top-ranked amateur finished at 15-under 265 to smash the conference scoring record en route to an eight-stroke victory over Jonas Baumgartner of Oklahoma State. In a conference that has produced its share of PGA Tour stars, Aberg became the first player in the 26-year history of the Big 12 Championships to win back-to-back individual medalist titles. The win was his third of the season and ninth of his collegiate career.
The secret is out on Crystal Wang, who has flown under the radar for most of her career at Illinois. The grad student from Diamond Bar, Calif. led the Fightin' Illini to its first-ever Big Ten Conference Women's Golf Championship
at Fox Chapel Golf Club outside of Pittsburgh, where she fired a 9-under 62 in the final round to earn medalist honors. At 12-under 201, Wang posted the lowest 54-hole score in the championship's history which was good for a runaway victory over Isabella McCauley of Minnesota and Emily Lauterbach of Wisconsin, who finished at even par. She is the first Illinois golfer to win the Big Ten individual championship since her head coach Renee Slone (formerly Heiken) accomplished the feat in 1993. Wang also tied for sixth the Lady Buckeye Invitational and had a top-15 showing at the Augusta National Women's Amateur where she tied for 14th.
"Heavy Seve" outdueled a pair of Walker Cup hopefuls in Stewart Hagestad and Evan Beck to win the Coleman Invitational at the famed Seminole Golf Club. The 41-year-old car dealership owner from Windermere, Fla. carded rounds of 70-73-73 to finish at even-par 216 for the 54-hole event played in trying conditions on the shores of Juno Beach.
“I’m the old guy and those guys are in consideration to be picked for the Walker Cup team,” Esteve said. “To come out on top against these guys is pretty special. I’m in a little bit of disbelief."
After regaining his amateur status a year ago, Porter braved windy conditions at Indian Wells Golf Resort to win the Society of Seniors Masters
by two shots over Randy Haag and Michael Arasin and was the only player to finish under par for the 54-hole event. Porter is returning to competitive golf after nearly 20 years away from the grind. He was a former pro, who regained his amateur status last year. He stepped away from golf in 2004.
The Modesto, Calif. resident turned in a dominating performance to win the Golfweek Super Senior Amateur
at the Firecliff Course at the Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, Calif. After opening with a pair of 70s in his first two rounds, Burda built a seven-stroke lead but he saved his most impressive round for last, carding a bogey-free 64 to finish 16 shots ahead of runner-up Chris Worley. He also tied for sixth the SOS Senior Masters. The 69-year-old retired banker has won a record 12 Northern California Golf Association senior titles.