Sam’s Section: Who is Sam Bennett, and why he could be one of golf’s next best players


Jon Rahm became the world No. 1 after winning the masters, being the fourth Spaniard to do so. However, he wasn’t the only star of golf’s first major of the year. 

Even though Sam Bennett will need to qualify again for the tournament, he was phenomenal as the only amateur golfer to make the cut, therefore winning the Low Amateur. 

Bennett was at one point in sole possession of second place. Through two rounds, he shot 68 twice, heading into the weekend at eight-under-par. That score through 36 holes was the lowest by an amateur since Ken Venturi in 1956, whose name ended up in the World Golf Hall of Fame. 

His bogey-free first round was the first by an amateur in 30 years, becoming the first amateur in the top three through the first two rounds since 2003. The last time an amateur shot in the 60s for two rounds was in 1961 when Charles Coe finished as one of the runners-up. 

Saturday was postponed for the most part due to rain, so a lot of golf was played on Sunday, which seemed to take a toll on the 23-year-old. Bennett shot 76 and 74 respectively in the third and fourth rounds, with only two birdies in the final 36 holes. 

Bennett, from Madisonville, Texas, won the 2022 U.S. Amateur at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. Some notable names that won that tournament and won Low Amateur at Augusta include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus. He finished tied for 16th, the best finish by a Low Amateur at the Masters since 2005. 

He also made the cut at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, where the 2022 U.S. Open was held. 

Bennett stayed in Texas for college, and he is currently in his fifth year at Texas A&M University. He was even supposed to play in the Aggie Invitational on Monday before withdrawing. 

“Yeah, it might be a 36-hole day grind tomorrow, so we’ll see,” Bennett told CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz on the broadcast. “I still haven’t made my decision. I think I’m going to play.” 

The craziest part about his performance was his comments after the first two rounds. 

“I mean Ridgewood [Country Club] was harder than [Augusta National],” he told reporters on Friday. 

The rising star ranked 15th in the field on driving accuracy with 80.4%, had 53 pars (more than anyone else) and was one of 12 players that didn’t double bogey. 

His father was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and passed away in 2021. The final thing his father wrote to him was: “Don’t wait to do something.” He eventually got this quote tattooed and has taken every opportunity presented to him. 

Bennett has secured spots in both the upcoming U.S. Open and The Open Championship, where his name will not be one people look past. 

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