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Amateur roundup: Dossey victorious at North/South; Free wins Future Masters

Pinehurst Resorts

It has been a nice few weeks for Baylor players.

Rising junior Ryan Grider captured the Texas State Amateur two weeks ago, and last week it was graduate Garrett May winning the Northeast Amateur.

“All my good buddies have been playing well and I’ve been there to encourage them,” Bears rising senior Cooper Dossey said. “But it’s been hard being the cheerleader.”

So, what did Dossey do? The Austin, Texas, native traded in his pom-poms for a trophy by prevailing in the championship match of the North and South Amateur on Saturday at Pinehurst No. 2.

Dossey defeated Georgia Tech’s Noah Norton, 5 and 4, making two birdies and an eagle (at No. 8) to take a 4-up lead on the front nine. He parred each of five holes played on the back to secure the victory.

“I was hitting it close all day, so it wasn’t very stressful,” said Dossey, who made four birdies in his semifinal victory over Blake Taylor on Saturday morning before going bogey-free in the afternoon.

“I’ve had ball-striking days like this before but never on a course this hard. I never thought I was out of a hole today.”

Dossey likened his play in the final to the 62 he shot in a U.S. Junior qualifier in 2015. Coincidentally, Dossey’s younger brother, Luke, an incoming Baylor freshman, caddied that day. Luke Dossey also caddied for Cooper on Saturday after failing to make the cut. (Cooper actually looped for Luke in the North and South qualifier on Pinehurst No. 8 earlier this week.)

Dossey’s youngest brother, Sam, and parents, Paul and Trudi, all stayed in a house on the course this week, sharing the place with Grider and his family.

“I honestly felt like home all week,” said Dossey, who will head back to Texas to play in next week’s Trans-Miss Amateur.

Dossey’s victory Saturday was as much improbable as it was impressive. Less than five months ago, Dossey couldn’t even play golf. He injured his left wrist during the postseason of his freshman year and last November had surgery to repair the ECU tendon and sheath in the wrist, as well as torn cartilage in his left hand.

He didn’t pick up a club for three months.

“If you would’ve told me in November that I would win this tournament, I would’ve told you there was no way,” Dossey said. “I was in a bad place, but it’s been humbling, and in a way I kind of needed it. I was burnt out. It’s crazy what God does.

“… I’ve never felt more confident in my game. I’ve gotten back to believing in myself.”

Dossey recently started working with instructor Chuck Cook, who has turned Dossey from a player who had made just two cuts in big-time amateur tournaments (both at the Sunnehanna) and never qualified for a U.S. Amateur into a player who now has a notable amateur win on his resume.

As for the U.S. Amateur, which will be played at Pinehurst No. 2 next month, Dossey has yet to qualify. But he’s scheduled to tee it up in a July 23 qualifier at White Deer Run Golf Club in Vernon Hills, Ill., near Chicago.

“It’ll be my last U.S. Amateur – and my first – so there’s a lot of motivation,” Dossey said.

Especially considering what Dossey already has proven he can do at Pinehurst.

Mouw takes it to Banke in Cal State Am final

Incoming Pepperdine freshman William Mouw defeated San Diego State sophomore Christian Banke, 4 and 2, in Saturday’s scheduled 36-hole final of the California State Amateur.

Mouw took a quick 3-up lead after six holes of the morning session at Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Dunes Course before Banke battled back to square the match after 12 holes. Banke won five holes in a seven-hole stretch to take a 2-up lead after 16, but Mouw got one back on the par-5 18th.

The afternoon portion began with another Mouw win at No. 1, and the Chino, Calif., native never trailed again after winning the sixth. He closed out the match with birdie on the par-4 16th.



Free rallies to capture Future Masters

Jones Free put together a back-nine comeback Saturday to win the 15-18 age division of the 70th Press Thornton Future Masters.

The 16-year-old Alabama commit from Selma, Ala., trailed 36-hole leader Maxwell Ford by three shots through seven holes of the final round at Dothan (Ala.) Country Club. But Free birdied four of his final 11 holes and sunk a 4-footer for par on the last to shoot 1-under 69 and clinch a one-shot victory over Ford at 10 under.

“It was pretty nerve-racking, but you’ve got to love the moment,” Free told the Dothan Eagle. “… It was a pretty big comeback.”

Ford, a 2021 recruit from Peachtree Corners, Ga., fired a 9-under 61 in the opening round before finishing with a final-round 71. Ford’s twin brother, David, tied for third at 4 under with Mississippi State commit Harrison Davis and Austin Coggin.

Li, Moldovan win Polo titles

Lucy Li and Maxwell Moldovan captured titles at the AJGA’s Polo Golf Junior Classic on Friday at Liberty National. Li defeated Savannah Grewal, 5 and 3, in the girls final while Moldovan beat Taehoon Song, 3 and 2, in the boys final.

“Looking at the trophy there are so many crazy names on there like Tiger Woods and it just feels really good to be back in the winner’s circle again,” Li said.