Aug. 10, 2013
BROOKLINE, Mass. - University of Houston sophomore Blair Hamilton will tee off Monday at one of the nation's premier amateur events when he competes at the U.S. Amateur Championship at The Country Club.
Hamilton became the first Cougar to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship since 2007. In a one-day, 36-hole qualifier at The Links at Spring Church in Apollo, Pa., he shot 68-70 to grab the second and final spot.
"It's exciting. Anytime you get to play in a major event, it's obviously really exciting. My game is going pretty good right now and I feel good about it. If I play well, good things can happen," Hamilton said. "I am just going to go in there and try not to make it a bigger thing than it is."
This is has been a busy week for Hamilton. He teed off at the Canadian Amateur Championship on Tuesday and moved into a tie for 22nd at 287, thanks to a final round 69 on Friday.
Following Friday's final round, he boarded a 5-hour flight to Toronto and then flew to Boston, covering a distance of more than 3,200 miles and arriving early Saturday morning. From there, he will meet Hill at the club for practice rounds Saturday and Sunday before teeing off Monday.
Despite the long travel, Hamilton said he was pleased with the level of his play entering the U.S. Amateur Championship.
"I feel good. I've been training pretty hard to get ready for this, but I have also been getting lots of rest," Hamilton said. "At the beginning of the year, you know you will have a busy stretch in July-August, so you get prepared for it. I am ready to go and tee it up Monday."
Hamilton won't be the only Cougar working at the U.S. Amateur Championship. Since joining the Cougars in 2010, associate head coach Chris Hill has always promised his team that he would serve as caddy for his first player to compete at the U.S. Amateur Championship. Now, that Hamilton has qualified, Hill is living up to his oath.
"It's going to be a unique dynamic because I get to see what we have taught Blair over a year of action. I will be fascinated to see what he has learned and how he will put it to use," Hill said. "It's exciting because he is my first Canadian recruit at the University of Houston."
"Coach Hill and I are pretty tight, and we are good friends. He brings a lot to the table," Hamilton said. "We are going to be a pretty solid team. It's going to be lots of fun."
BLOGGING WITH BLAIR
Fans can keep up with Hamilton and Hill throughout the week on their blog at UHCougars.com. Fans can read daily recaps from the Cougar duo with other news and notes at UHCougars.com/BlairsBlog.
ABOUT Blair Hamilton
A year ago, Hamilton competed in four tournaments during his first collegiate season. He fired a career-low 70 three times and posted a pair of top-10 finishes, including a ninth-place showing at the HBU Husky Invitational in late October.
He joined the Cougars after an award-winning junior career. He competed as a member of the Development Squad by Golf Canada during the summer of 2012 and tied for 12th at the Canadian Amateur Championship with a score of 212.
HOUSTON HISTORY AT THE U.S. AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Hamilton became the first Cougar since Ricky Romano in 2007 to compete at the U.S. Amateur Championship. The Cougars have boasted several competitors at this prestigious event, including Romano (2007, 2005), Jordan Irwin (2006), Ben Moser (2006), Jordan Hasbrouck (2005), Mike Booker (2004), director of golf Jonathan Dismuke, who competed out of Auburn in 2004, Andy Sanders (1999), John Mahaffey (1969) and Keith Fergus, who finished second at the 1975 event.