BROOKLINE, Mass. – Jordan Niebrugge’s winning streak finally ended Wednesday at the U.S. Amateur.
He couldn’t have picked a worse time.
The Oklahoma State sophomore was the hottest player in amateur golf after rolling up surprising victories at the U.S. Amateur Public Links, Wisconsin State Amateur and Western Amateur, the latter boasting arguably the strongest field of the summer. Even better, his recent match-play run – 10 consecutive matches won – put him on the Walker Cup radar.
But on Wednesday at The Country Club, Niebrugge squandered a late lead with a few loose iron shots down the stretch, resulting in a 1-up loss to Georgia Tech’s Seth Reeves.
The two players had squared off a week and a half earlier at the Western Amateur, where in their quarterfinal match Niebrugge had built a 4-up lead on the 13th hole, only to hang on for a 3-and-1 victory.
This time, Niebrugge lost Nos. 14-16 but rallied with a birdie on the 17th. On the final hole, he was 60 yards ahead of Reeves but chunked his 7-iron from 146 yards into the front bunker. He drew a plugged lie, his second in three holes (No. 16), and couldn’t get up-and-down to extend the match.
“I came in with the mindset of winning it,” Niebrugge said. “I put myself in good position after two stroke-play rounds. I just ran into a good player.”