Nick played in the 2016 Western Amateur Championship at the Knollwood Club in Lake Forest, Illinois.
The Western Amateur has been a prestigious national tournament since its founding in 1899. Many of the great names in golf have won the Western Amateur. Many more have competed in the championship but were unable to conquer the grueling test that is the Western Amateur.
156 invited players come from across the globe to play one of the toughest formats in amateur golf. The field will play 18 holes of individual stroke play on Tuesday and Wednesday after which the field will be cut to the low 44 scores and ties. Those remaining will play 36 holes of individual stroke play on Thursday to determine the low 16 finishers. The “Sweet Sixteen” will compete at Match Play on Friday and Saturday to decide the champion.
Nick had rounds of 70 and 74 in the first two rounds to be in a tie for 29th. This position meant he advanced through to the third and fourth rounds in which he shot a 75 and a 72 respectively. He tied for 40th with a total of 291. The winner of this part of the tournament, Sam Horsfield, finished with a total of 268.
The eventual winner was Dylan Meyer from Indiana. He had survived a 6 man playoff to make it into the Sweet Sixteen and then defeated Sam Horsfield in the final of the match play.
In Nick’s own words….
I hit my driver really well this week. I have been putting myself under a lot of pressure and really getting uncomfortable during my driving practice at home and I think everything I have been doing in terms of technique and artist practice is starting to bleed into my competitive golf. My putting from inside 5 feet was solid again. I didn’t feel I hit my irons consistently enough to get myself into contention. The complexity of the greens made it difficult to chip around so I had to be really precise with what I wanted to do.
I will be back at ISU’s practice facility this week working hard on my long iron play as well as going through my usual practice vault of drills in preparation for next week’s US Amateur at Oakland Hills, Michigan. Exciting times : )
Knollwood’s championship golf course was designed by famed golf course architecture firm, Colt and Alison, and opened for play in 1925. In 2009, restoration specialist Keith Foster was brought in to help oversee a two phase renovation project. Foster added white sand to all the bunkers, reshaped a few fairways and greens, and added over 300 yards to the championship layout. Knollwood now stretches over 7,200 yards from the tips.