Matteson Ready To Compete In U.S. Amateur
BOULDER — University of Colorado sophomore Adam Matteson earned his way into next week's U.S. Amateur with a solid performance in qualifying, and he feels about as good as his overall game as he ever has.
Matteson finished second last month in one of the 56 regional qualifiers nationwide, as he recorded a 67-71—138 performance at Valencia (Calif.) Country Club. That was 4-under par and two off the lead, as he had a very consistent effort with nine birdies and 22 pars and only five bogeys.
The 121st U.S. Amateur begins Monday (Aug. 9) at Oakmont Country Club (Oakmont, Pa.) and Longue Vue Club (Verona, Pa.). Stroke play the first two days will reduce the field from 312 to 64 competitors, with match play commencing at Oakmont on Wednesday. Two rounds will be played on Thursday to reduce the field to eight players, with the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, the latter a 36-hole match, daily afterward.
The last Buffalo to play in the U.S. Amateur was Daniel O'Loughlin last year at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon. He shot 77-74—151 (8-over par), missing the cut by six shots. He tied for 149th in the reduced 264-man field.
"I feel that my game is in a really good spot," Matteson said. "I've been playing well all summer and I'm excited to compete in such a big event. I know that Oakmont is an incredible course that has hosted a good amount of major tournaments, so it'll definitely be exciting to play.
Matteson was third on the team in stroke average this past spring with a 73.37 mark for 19 rounds. He played in six of CU's seven tournaments, with his best finish a tie for 16th in Wyoming's Desert Intercollegiate (72-69-75—216, E) and a tie for 21st in Wyoming's Cowboy Classic (74-71-68—213, -3). He tied for 46th in the Pac-12 Championships (293, +5), with his 50 pars the most in the field. He had just 10 holes out of 342 worse than bogey, and just one worse than a double, as he scored 50 birdies and an eagle.
While every player in the massive field has the goal of winning, Matteson is realistic about it.
"Obviously the goal is to win, but I really just want to play my best," he said. "But I also want to be mindful of the experience and everything that goes into the championship, as it is my first USGA event."
"Adam has had a really nice summer of amateur golf," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "He played extremely well in the qualifier in California to earn this opportunity. He's continually improving, he just keeps getting better and better. It's been a constant, steady improvement and he's taken his game to another level this summer. Oakmont is one of the very best golf courses in the nation and it's perfect for a U.S. Amateur."
Players are allowed caddies; Mike Pitt, a friend of one of his hometown golf instructors, will be on his bag. The Golf Channel will provide extensive coverage.