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Photo by USGA/Grant Halverson
Texas A&M Men's Golf

Texas A&M golfer Sam Bennett wins 122nd U.S. Amateur Championship

August 21, 2022
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The dog in the race, indeed.

Texas A&M senior golfer and Madisonville native Sam Bennett etched himself into the history books on Sunday afternoon by claiming the title at the 122nd USGA Amateur Championship at The Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, NJ. The Aggie clinched the title with a 1-up victory over Georgia Southern’s Ben Carr in a 36-hole championship match on Sunday.

The No. 3 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking created quite a buzz around the grounds at Ridgewood earlier this week when asked about his possible opponents in the Match Play portion of the tournament.

“They’re great players, but I’m a better player,” Bennett said. “I’m the dog in this race.”

During Sunday’s championship match, Bennett never trailed Carr, taking a 3-up lead at the halfway point after being tied through eight. Back-to-back birdies at 20 and 21 saw Bennett’s advantage increase to a short-lived 5 up.

Carr sank a ridiculous putt from off the green on 23, and one hole later, he chipped in — again short of the green — to trim the Aggie’s lead to 3 up. A Bennett double bogey on 28 gifted Carr another hole as the edge was cut to 2 up.

After missing a birdie putt at 30, Bennett regained a 3-up lead when Carr failed to save par. On the 31st hole, both players’ second shots landed out-of-bounds, but the two halved the hole. However, it was Bennett giving Carr as gift on 32 as the lead dwindled to two with four to play. Following ties at 33 and 34, Carr nailed a clutch 20-foot putt on 35 to force a final hole, but one more tie on 36 clinched the biggest victory of Bennett’s young career.

Bennett’s march to history began on Monday, and after finishing stroke play tied for 30th on the leaderboard with rounds of 71 and 73, Sam found himself as the #36 seed on the Match Play bracket.

The Aggie proceeded to take down WAGR (World Amateur Golf Rankings) players No. 13, No. 27, No. 10, No. 9, No. 8 and No. 70 on his way to the crown jewel of amateur golf.

Perhaps the most trying match on the way to the title came on Saturday afternoon against North Carolina standout Dylan Menante.

After having a 2-up lead on the 13th tee, Bennett found himself all-square with Menante by the time they took the 16th tee. There was no panic, however. Bennett showed he had that dog in him by sinking a birdie putt on 17 to take a 1-up lead he would never relinquish.

That putt and victory came with all the pressure in the world for the young kid from Madisonville. Saturday’s Match Play Semifinal win secured Bennett entry into both the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National and the 2023 U.S. Open at The Los Angeles Country Club.

Despite securing such a prestigious honor, Sam seemed almost unphased on the 18th green following the victory over Menante telling Colt Knost, 2007 U.S. Amateur Champion, of the Golf Channel that, “the job’s not done.”

Sam played in — and made the cut — as an amateur at the 2022 U.S. Open from the Country Club at Brookline this summer, one of four amateurs to do so.

U.S. Amateur Championship has been held annually by the USGA since 1895.

Bennett, a multi-sport star in high school at Madisonville, became the first golfer in Texas A&M history to claim the historic Havemeyer Trophy.

Now here’s the portion of the story where we have a discussion; Where does Sam Bennett’s victory at the 2022 U.S. Amateur rank on the Mt. Rushmore of accomplishments by Texas A&M athletes?

Obviously, I believe the discussion begins and ends with the 1957 and 2012 Heisman Trophies won by John David Crow and Johnny Manziel.

If you ask me, this victory is on that level.

Bennett writes his name in the amateur golf history books alongside the all-time greats like Bobby Jones (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, and 1930), Jack Nicklaus (1959, 1961) and Tiger Woods (1994, 1995, 1996).

Next, Sam turns his attention to the 2022-23 Texas A&M Men’s Golf season.

The Maroon & White, led by coach Brian Kortan (who was on the bag this week for Bennett at the U.S. Amateur), kick things off on Sept. 11 at the Badger Invitational in Madison, WI.

TL;DR: The lead dog won, and the job is done.

Discussion from...

Texas A&M golfer Sam Bennett wins 122nd U.S. Amateur Championship

7,573 Views | 26 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by aggiedad55
19Aggie88
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AG
That is terrific!
lagoag
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Aggie_Jeff
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Awesome job Sam. Proud of you!
cageybee77
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TxAg82/86
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AG
Whoop!
chick79
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AG
I watch most of this today. There's something really pure about the US amateur championship. Sam is a great guy. What an ambassador to the game and A&M.
Chief77
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AG
Congratulations!
stuffandstufflikedat
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AG
Amazing win for Sam, Madisonville, and Aggies! Congratulations to Sam and his family. Thanks for all the hard work to get so good at such a tough game; and for developing such mental toughness; and for being such a great young man. Gig'em Sam! Gig'em Aggies!
jigsaw87
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jigsaw87
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TheWoodsAg
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AG
Such an fantastic accomplishment. So many world renowned players have won this championship and hold it in such high regards. What an amazing springboard into his last year at A&M. Great Job.
John Scheschuk
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Unbelievable accomplishment. Congratulations to him and his family.
rgleml
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AG
Fantastic!
sharpdressedman
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"Obviously, I believe the discussion begins and ends with the 1957 and 2012 Heisman Trophies won by John David Crow and Johnny Manziel.

If you ask me, this victory is on that level."

I agree, completely! It is a very rare and magnificently extraordinary accomplishment that is both a genuine, lifetime achievement and a highly positive, life-changing event. The victory and all that comes with it, now and always, is made doubly sweet by his youth.

I am overcome with pride and happiness for him and his family.


millerjohnr
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AG
Whoop!!
aggie_john
AG81
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AG
This is as big as the Heisman. Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods. The greatest of the greats of golf have won the US Amateur. I hope this gets the recognition and celebration it deserves.
AGDAD14
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WHOOP!!!
SA-AG72
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Bobaloo
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US AM might be the most difficult tournament in golf to win. An incredible achievement by Sam B. Much deserved praise. Hats off!
Ian Neff
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AG
This is huge. AWESOME. Incredibly proud.
RABAG60
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AG
Huge accomplishment! Congrats Sam!!!
fightintxaggie10
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AG
Legend
boomer on social security
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Definitely on par with the Heisman, absolutely well done.
Nobody seen the trouble I've seen
aggiebrad94
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AG
What a ride!

Now that the monkey is off his back, he can focus on his intramural basketball game.

I learned my brother played against Sam's uncle at several youth events back in the 80's.
Diego
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aggiedad55
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AG
Whoop!!
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