Aug 12, 2013
BROOKLINE, Mass. - Using a steady effort all day, University of Houston sophomore Blair Hamilton fired an even-par 70 at Charles River Country Club and stood in a tie for 219th after the first day of the U.S. Amateur Championship on Monday.
Hamilton, who will be a sophomore with the Cougars in 2013-14, birdied two of his first four holes on the 6,635-yard course to start his round on a positive note. After bogeying the 470-yard, par-4 seventh hole, he posted par on each of the next seven holes before slipping a stroke on the 553-yard, par-5 15th hole.
Despite that lone hiccup on his back nine, Hamilton was pleased with his first-day performance after the round.
"My iron play was pretty sweet" Hamilton said. "I hit the ball well, and my misses weren't bad. I gave myself a lot of opportunities."
Although this is Hamilton's first appearance at the U.S. Amateur Championship and the first showing by a Cougar since Ricky Romano in 2007, the young Cougar did his best to keep the tournament in perspective.
"I tried to treat it like any other tournament," Hamilton said. "You get to the parking lot, you tie your shoes, you pull out your clubs and you go. It's just another round of golf, and that's the way you have to treat it."
SECOND ROUND ON TUESDAY
Hamilton will waste little time in returning to the course. He tees off at 6:40 a.m., Tuesday, at the historic Country Club. With 312 competing in the field, players played one round at Charles River Country Club and another at The Country Club.
The early start to the day will be a benefit, according to Associate Head Coach Chris Hill, who is serving has Hamilton's caddy this week.
"I really like Blair's chances. We will have breakfast and then get right at it in the morning," Hill said. "It's shower, breakfast and then get back on the course and get after it."
The top 64 players in Stroke Play advance to Match Play on Wednesday.
Although the Country Club plays 600 yards longer that Charles River CC, Hill said that length could play into Hamilton's strengths.
"Blair has an advantage at The Country Club because of his length and his accuracy," Hill said. "Hitting fairways off the tee will be the challenge, and we will put a premium on driving the ball into the fairway."
Fans can follow live scoring at USGA.org or by clicking here.
Fans can keep up with Hamilton and Hill throughout the week on Blair's 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.