Aug. 10, 2016
WASHINGTON - When the U.S. Amateur Championship begins at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Georgetown University men's golf junior Sam Madsen (Madison, Wis./Edgewood/Cardinal Gibbons [Fla.]) will be part of the field, qualifying for the prestigious amateur event during his golf-filled summer.
Madsen has continued to play since a strong finish to his collegiate season in May, where he finished second at the BIG EAST Championships and at 2-under par 214 at the NCAA Franklin Regional. His confidence-building fourth place finish at the 115th Wisconsin State Amateur Championship transitioned nicely into the one-day, 36-hole USGA Amateur Qualifier at the Watertown Country Club on July 25, just four days later.
"You come off of playing back-to-back weeks during the spring season, so you try to imitate that in the summer by playing in a lot of tournaments," Madsen explained. "So while it was a short turnaround from the State Am to the US Am qualifier, I'm used to that from college and I think it's been good, especially for me to get into tournament mode and stay there for a while."
Despite a shaky first round at the USGA Qualifier, where he shot 4-over par 74, Madsen remained confident in his ability to rise up the leaderboard and advance.
"I didn't change my game plan, I had a good game plan going into the tournament, but I just started putting a lot better," Madsen said. "I made some birdie putts to get the round going and made some good par saves to keep it going. I had no clue where I was at (on the leaderboard) coming down the stretch, but I knew if I kept playing solid golf I'd probably be there at the end."
Madsen stayed focused during a 5-under par 65 second round that helped him finish at 1-under par 139, tying for second place overall and earning a spot in the U.S. Amateur Championship. The rising junior remained in the dark during the second round, not knowing his placement until sinking his last putt on the final hole.
"I made my last putt on 18 and I had a friend, who had just graduated from playing golf at Marquette, who was playing in the tournament and out on the green," Madsen explained. "He gave me a thumbs up after I made my putt, so I figured that was something good."
"It didn't really sink in until a couple of hours later that you're going to play in the biggest amateur tournament in the world," Madsen continued. "It's sunk in now and I'm really excited for it. It's always been a dream to play in that tournament. Any amateur in America is going to want to play in that tournament. It's just an amazing feeling to say I'm going to play in the U.S. Amateur."
Madsen now looks toward the opening round of the USGA Amateur Championship on Wednesday, August 17. He will tee off at 3:05 p.m. from the 10th hole on the Oakland Hills Country Club's North Course. Coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship begins at 3 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.