Nels Surtani and Yuqi Liu (Northern Amateur Photo)
It is safe to say Nels Surtani
of Noblesville, Ind. is comfortable at Sand Creek Country Club and the Northern Amateur
After winning the 2022 Northern Amateur, Surtani successfully defended his title by shooting the tournament scoring record and winning by five shots at 15-under.
This is the first repeat champion in the Northern Amateur since 1998.
"I was feeling good," Surtani said. "I have played here a lot, and I know the course really well. It suits my game, and I was driving the ball really well and hitting good wedges and holed some putts."
Surtani added, "The last few years, it is just really suited to my eye. I am comfortable out here, and the more you play a course, the more comfortable you get."
Surtani had rounds of 66-65-70 for a total of 201 to set the scoring record since play was moved to 54 holes in 2011.
"My wedges were really good," Surtani said about what was working best for him. "I hit four wedge shots inside three or four feet, so I was able to make some easy birdies and putted really well all day."
Surtani added, "My game just fits really well here."
Surtani finished 6-under par last year to win the tournament, nine shots worse than his 15-under par score in 2023.
of Beijing, China, and the University of Michigan finished in second place at 10-under par with scores of 71-68-67.
of Glen Ellyn, Illinois and Oklahoma State University and Luke Prall
of Carmel, Ind., and Purdue University finished tied for third place at 8-under par.
Surtani shot a 7-under 65 in the second round to take a six-shot lead into the final round.
"I was playing a little bit safer today but still trying to play aggressively and not try to change too much," Surtani said about his final round gameplan. "Some of the shots I was uncomfortable with, I could just hit to a safe part and not feel like I had to make a birdie, but I also was still aggressive with wedges and trying to make putts."
Surtani added, "I got into a little trouble off the tee, but for the most part, I kept it in play and took advantage when I could put a wedge in my hand."
ABOUT THE Northern Amateur
Popular national amateur tournament played
1967-2001 (with a solid list of past
returned to the schedule in 2011. 54-hole
play championship with a field of 96 players.
Par-3 contest held after round 1.
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