Teen qualifies for U.S. Amateur Four-Ball on his own ball

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Apparently, partners are overrated at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.

The USGA’s David Shefter has the remarkable story of 18-year-old Brent Grant, who shot a personal-best 63 on his own ball in sectional qualifying Nov. 12 to punch his ticket to the Olympic Club.

Where was his partner? Well, Bill Walbert was called into surgery 24 hours earlier and couldn’t make the team’s tee time at Honolulu Country Club. The deadline for adding a substitute partner passed weeks ago, so Grant, bound for Oregon State next fall, played as a one-man team – and shot 63, five shots better than his previous best in competition.

“Something just went right,” he told the USGA.  

Walbert, a physician’s assistant in Honolulu, has promised Grant both a steak dinner and an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco for the May 2-6 Four-Ball Championship. (The Four-Ball replaces the U.S. Amateur Public Links, beginning in 2015.) 

Heck, if his partner plays like this, Walbert might want to consider sitting out the finals, too.