Bennett competes in amateur events

By Barbara Boxleitner
jdanddoc@gmail.com
Posted 8/11/20

A strong performance at the Western Amateur Championship has boosted Sam Bennett's confidence.

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Bennett competes in amateur events

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A strong performance at the Western Amateur Championship has boosted Sam Bennett's confidence.

The Madisonville High School graduate finished one stroke behind the medalist in the event. The Texas A&M University junior shot 278 (69-68-70-71) in his final event before playing in this week's U.S. Amateur Championship in Bandon, Ore.

He surrendered a one-stroke lead in the final three holes. A shot landed in water on the 16th hole, he said, and he missed an 8-foot putt on the 17th.

“The last three holes were pretty hard,” said Bennett, who qualified for the event's Sweet Sixteen. "The last hole I played a little too aggressively. It was a little unfortunate."

His performance in match play didn't go as well, for he lost 4 and 3 in his lower bracket first round.

"I played five rounds of golf before that,” said Bennett. "I might have gotten tired. I'm pretty disappointed. I truly believe I was playing the best golf."

The tournament showed his improvement from his performance at the Southern Amateur Championship, where he tied for 30th by shooting 293 (73-72-74-74).

"I was actually pretty pleased," said Bennett on that event. "Around the greens and in the short game, I just didn't capitalize on the opportunities I had."

Going into the Western Amateur Championship, he worked on improving his mental game and becoming more comfortable over the ball. Those changes produced results.

"Some of the shots I hit around the green and under pressure, I don't even remember,” said Bennett. "I was just swinging freely."

He was confident heading into the U.S. Amateur, which had a field of 264, according to the U.S. Golf Association. Among those eligible for exemption into the tournament were the top 225 players in the men’s world amateur golf rankings, the USGA indicated, and Bennett ranked 163.

"I'm excited," said Bennett before the event, which began Monday. "I really think my game's turned in the right direction."

More men's golf

Logan Young will return to University of Houston to complete his eligibility after the spring shortened season. The Normangee High product is one of two graduate students on the roster.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at jdanddoc@gmail.com.

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