Golf Channel Reporter Steve Burkowski is in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado for the U.S. Amateur Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club. Jordan Spieth, who is the 3rd ranked amateur in the world, was knocked out of the Round of 64 by the 2012 NCAA Individual Champion Thomas Pieters. He is a player who plays very well on tough courses as shown by his wins at Riviera in the NCAA Championship and at Muirfield Village last year in another NCAA event. Pieters came to Cherry Hills straight from Europe and jumped right into a tough first round match after qualifying via stroke play. It is a relative surprise that Pieters won but when you really think about it, it should not be a surprise at all.
55-year-old Doug Hanzel is a doctor from Savannah, GA and is playing in his 16th U.S. Amateur. He has tendonitis as well as diabetes which requires him to wear an insulin pump. Hanzel has the perfect approach this week in that he realizes that he is 55-years-old and just wants to advance as far as he can. He also knows that the younger players are under pressure not to lose.
The 2012 Haskins Award winner and University of Alabama star Justin Thomas also advanced out of his first round match along with Stanford All-American Patrick Rodgers. Chris Williams, who just won the Western Amateur and is the #1 ranked amateur in the world, also advanced out of the first round and is carrying his own bag this week. Thomas may end up facing Alabama teammate and stroke play medalist Bobby Wyatt in the third round later today.
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