Christiaan Maas (Back of the Range Photo)
of South Africa leads the field after the first round at the 121st Western Amateur
at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Ill.
Maas recorded seven birdies and one bogey on his way to a 6-under 65 as the North Shore Country Club plays a par 71.
Maas started on hole No. 10 and shot a 32 on his first nine after making birdies on holes No. 12, 15, 16, and 17. He made a bogey on hole No. 1 as he made the turn, but then bounced back with birdies on holes No. 2, 3 and his final hole for the day, No. 9.
“I wasn’t feeling good yesterday and had a couple swing changes over the last month, but then I started great and felt the momentum,” Maas told the Western Amateur.
Maas said the swing changes ultimately paid off on the tree-lined fairways of North Shore because they set up consistent fades with the driver.
“There seem to be more doglegs to the right here, so that suits me perfectly,” Maas said. “It’s just hitting those big fades that help keep me in the fairway. That’s important with the long rough.”
, who was paired with Maas in round one, adopted a similar fairway-first mentality, and it led to a nearly flawless opening round. Goodman is T2 after a round of 5-under 67.
Through 17 holes, Goodman was bogey-free with six birdies on his card, but a missed fairway and burnt edge on his par putt added a bogey to the tally on his final hole.
“I wasn’t planning on practicing after my round today, but that bogey gives me a little motivation to go hit a few balls now,” Goodman said with a smile. “Overall, I felt like I played pretty good, though. You’re just trying to survive and make that first cut, and however you cut it, 5-under is a good start.”
of Houston, Tex., Brendan Valdes
of Orlando, Fla, and Gustav Frimodt
of Denmark are all T2 after rounds of 5-under 66.
Valdes was one of two players to go bogey-free in round one.
2021 champion Michael Thorbjornsen
of Wellesley, Mass., is T6 after a 4-under 67. Maxwell Moldovan
of Uniontown, OH., is also T6 at 4-under.
Defending champion Austin Greaser
is T51 after an even-par 71.
of Indian Trail, N.C., the 2021 Western Junior champion and reigning Elite Amateur Cup winner, is T13 after a round of 3-under 68.
Other notable round one scores are Nick Dunlap
of Huntsville, Ala., at 2-under 69, Kazuma Kobori
of New Zealand at 2-under 69, 2023 U.S. Junior Amateur
champion Bryan Kim
of Brookeville, MD., at 1-under 70, and Jackson Van Paris
of Pinehurst, N.C., at 2-over 73.
Maas made history as the low amateur in the 2022 South African Open and is a rising sophomore at the University of Texas. Former Longhorn Beau Hossler won the 2014 Western Open.
CHRISTIAAN MAAS MAKES HISTORY AS LOW AMATEUR AT SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN
The field will be cut to low 44 and ties after Wednesday's 18 holes.
ABOUT THE Western Amateur
Invitational event, and the most important
tournament in American amateur golf outside of the
U.S. Amateur. With a grueling schedule, it's quite
hardest amateur tournament to win.
156 invited players come from across the
globe to play one of the toughest formats in
amateur golf. The tournament starts with 18
holes of stroke play on Tuesday and
Wednesday after which the field is cut to the
low 44 scores and ties. Thursday it's a long
day of 36 holes of stroke play to determine
the “Sweet Sixteen” who compete at Match
Play on Friday and Saturday (two matches
each day if you're going to the finals) to
decide the champion.
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