Travis Vick wins amateur medal at US Open
Travis Vick wins amateur medal at US Open
There are probably very few videos or images of Travis Vick with a golf club in hand at an early age. Football and baseball were Vick’s primary sports growing up and golf came later in life. As his talent for golf became evident, he turned his attention to the individual sport.
Although much has been said about Vick’s competitive nature and the reps he has achieved in different sports, it seems that the pressure of playing for a team might be the most important experience for Vick.
After making the cut on Friday, capping an incredible month of golf that included the winning run for the Texas Longhorns, Vick said he felt more pressure chasing a title with the Longhorns than he did in playing this week at the Country Club.
“The NCAA is a lot more pressure. Even though there are thousands more fans here, when you play for your team and you play for a university, there’s just something about it because it’s something that we all practice. year and you only get one chance to do that,” Vick said.
He understood the value of building and winning, something as a team.
“We have three seniors in our team. So that added a little bit more pressure to try and do it for them as well,” Vick added.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the US Open was a walk in the park.
“But to say there was no pressure here would be a lie, especially when you’re on the first tee with Brooks Koepka right next to you. What a great experience. Super grateful to the USGA and everyone who helped organize this event.
Even after a disastrous quadruple bogey on Saturday when his ball continued to find divots deep in the eighth hole collection area, Vick birdied the next two holes to steady the ship.
Today, playing with Brooks Koepka, Vick was solid, shooting 73 and beating the four-time major champion by four shots.
“You know you’ve done something special when your caddy is screaming on the eighteenth hole,” Vick said after the round.
Adam Porzak has been Vick’s swing coach for a year. According to Vick’s father, they are a solid couple.
Vick also thanked Mike Boylan, a longtime caddy, for helping him prepare for the week.
“He was amazing. He’s such a nice guy and ridiculously smart. He obviously knew the course out and back,” Vick said. 3 wood. He felt like that was the best game percentage. So that’s what I did until the tide turned.
On Sunday, Vick and Sam Bennett were the two amateurs with a shot at the silver medal. A quadruple bogey on the second hole from Austin Greaser knocked him out.
Sam Bennett’s 73 on Sunday left him two shots behind Vick for low amateur honors. Like Vick, Bennett was playing in his first major, but he also had some experience playing in professional events last year, earning byes for the Bay Hill Invitational, Dubai Desert Classic and Valero Texas Open.
“I was ready, the crowd and the nerves were fine. I felt really comfortable there,” Bennett said. “It was great to have that experience.”
Bennett feels ready for this level of golf, and this week has helped crystallize that confidence. Even though he’s lined up for another year at Texas A&M, he knows he’s among the best in the world.
Bennett’s caddie, Taylor Ford, also brought a touch of professional experience to the bag this week. Ford has been a tour caddy for Stewart Cink. Ford also made a loop for Bennett’s assistant coach, so when Bennett was selected to play in Ford’s hometown of Columbus for his final qualifier, the stars aligned and Bennett and Ford teamed up.
“That’s kind of the deal. If you qualify, you must bring that caddy with you,” Bennett said.
This turned out to be a good move for Bennett.
Bennett was playing with a heavy heart today, as he lost his father a year ago. He was grateful to have his mother, brothers and a few friends join him for the week. He even got to watch a game at Fenway Park on Tuesday, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
Team Greaser was also a strong contingent this week. Austin Greaser’s brother Byron was on the sack and with a host of family and friends outside the ropes cheering him on, Greaser felt more settled than he did at the Masters.
“After talking with my family after Augusta, I learned to settle into a very different atmosphere that fans aren’t really used to,” Greaser said after his tour.
Sticking to a game plan on and off the course was also important to Greaser. He worried about too many things that were out of his control.
“I’ve done a good job of staying with what I’m doing and not changing it based on the fact that it’s the US Open and there are a lot of people watching.”
Steward Hagestad. was playing his sixth major championship and his second US Open. Although he is not happy with the way the tournament ended, a double bogey on the 18th stung him a bit as he dealt with the week, he understands what it means to play at the weekend at the US Open.
“Making the cut in any major tournament, let alone the US Open, is pretty special,” Hagestad said. “I wish I had played a little better this weekend. But I had the chance to go play golf at the US Open on Father’s Day and share that with my friends and family and I had one of my best friends on the bag all week.
Hagestad also enjoyed changing his dad’s golf plans for the weekend, as he was there to watch his son compete.
Hagestad has played a lot of golf over the past few weeks, and he could feel it coming on Friday trying to make the cut and then finishing on Sunday. He reached the Anderson Cup final at Winged Foot then headed to Brookline. On Wednesday he will play in the North East Amateur on the road in Wannmoisett.
As the week drew to a close for fans, they seemed comfortable playing in such a huge event. The crowds are still a big fit with the mental energy to compete against the best players in the world for four days.
As Hagestad and Greaser chatted after the round, Hagestad joked, “Everything from now on will feel so much easier.”
In his post-round press conference, Vick said that this stellar golf run he was on felt like a “golfer’s high.”
“It was one of my goals. So accomplishing this feat definitely gives me confidence. I definitely have areas of my game that need improvement. It was nice to be able to watch the best in the world and see what that they’re doing well and kind of comparing my game to theirs.”
After four rounds in tough conditions, Vick won his silver medal and hopes to use the last month as a springboard as he heads to the Palmer Cup in Switzerland where he will be back competing in a team event and representing the United States, alongside Sam Bennet.