Aug 15, 2013
BROOKLINE, Mass. - University of Houston sophomore Blair Hamilton dropped a 4&3 decision to Australia's Nathan Holman in the Round of 32 on Thursday morning to be eliminated from the U.S. Amateur Championship at The Country Club.
Hamilton, who became the first Cougar to win in match play at the U.S. Amateur Championship since 1999, lost four of the six holes played on the back nine to be eliminated. He also was the first Cougar since 2007 to compete at this prestigious event.
"The course was set up tough, and I played a good opponent. I didn't get the ball into the fairways off the tee and that hurt my chances for birdie looks," Hamilton said. "The course was firming up, and the pins were tough. Nathan played great and putted well all day."
The two players halved each of the first three holes before Holman used an eagle on the par-4 fourth hole to go 1 up. After splitting the fifth hole, Hamilton squared the match with a birdie on the 278-yard, par-4 sixth hole and went 1 up two holes later with a par on the 381-yard, par-4 eighth hole.
However, Holman squared the match through the front nine despite making bogey on the ninth hole.
Holman won the first hole on the back nine with a par and, after halving the 11th hole, won each of the next three holes to build a commanding lead. With a halve on the par-4 15th hole, he clinched the match and advanced to the Round of 16 later Thursday afternoon.
Despite the loss, Hamilton said he learned much during his near week of competition.
"I learned that I can play golf at the highest level and compete. It's a huge confidence boost for me to finish among the top 32 at this tournament," Hamilton said. "I'm proud of myself, and I can take this momentum into the fall."
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 (2000, 1999), B.J. Staten (2000), Chris Morris (1999), John Mahaffey (1969) and Keith Fergus, who finished second at the 1975 event.