2022 champ Sam Bennett makes a surprise appearance at a Texas U.S. Am qualifier
Sam Bennett with Adam Rohrbough of Texas Golf Association
In what has been a dream calendar year for Sam Bennett, he still finds himself recognizing the spark that kicked off his amazing run -- The 2022 U.S. Amateur Championship.
It was at New Jersey's Ridgewood Country Club last August where Bennett held off Ben Carr to win amateur golf’s most prestigious prize. Fast-forward nearly 12 months and Adam Rohrbough caught up with the reigning champion at a U.S. Amateur qualifier being held at his collegiate home course, Traditions Club. The former Aggie weighed in on his incredible year which includes an unforgettable 2023 Masters, as well as what’s ahead.
Bennett was, of course, rooting for his fellow Texas A&M players at the qualifying event. He recalled what it took to accomplish winning the 2022 U.S. Amateur.
“It’s tough with 36 holes in the heat of the summer with three spots,” said Bennett. “It shows me how tough it was not only to win but just to make it there. The quality of players I beat that week, it makes me look back and realize just how hard it was.”
Being part of the gallery may have even stirred up some feelings and memories for the now-professional competitor that made him miss (in some ways) his amateur career.
“Winning the U.S. Amateur was huge, it’s the pinnacle of amateur golf,” said Bennett. “I miss college (laughing) but it’s great being able to do what I love every day.”
What in particular does Bennett miss?
“Just the people. My coaches were great. Hanging out and eating dinner with your college friends, traveling, and getting to go to all of these different places,” he added.
It might be easy for golf fans to forget Bennett winning the U.S. Amateur, but that’s only because of his tremendous performance at this year's Masters. Bennett took Augusta National by storm not just by finishing as the low amateur and winning the Silver Cup, but by finishing in 16th place. It was the first time an amateur player had cracked the top 20 in 18 years.
Since the Masters Tournament, Bennett has made the cut in four of his five PGA Tour events including a T20 at the RBC Canadian Open. So what’s next for Sam Bennett?
“I've got the Barracuda Championship, 3M Open, Wyndham Championship, and then I’m hoping to play more in the fall,” said Bennett.
We know we’ll be watching as the 2022 U.S. Amateur champion, and budding professional, continues to carve his path on tour.