St. Peter, Minn. – Now that Gustavus Adolphus golfer Tyler McMorrow (St. Cloud, Minn.) has had some time to think back on competing in the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship held a little more than a week ago, the future senior captain reflects on an experience that was all together thrilling, motivating, and humbling.
McMorrow, who qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship after taking home medalist honors with a three-under-par 139 at the U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifier held at the St. Cloud Country Club in late July, flew into Boston on Friday, Aug. 9th. The U.S. Amateur was hosted by The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., which is located roughly 20 minutes southwest of downtown Boston.
Following his arrival in Beantown, McMorrow participated in a practice round at the Charles River Country Club on Saturday. He then took part in his final practice round on Sunday at The Country Club. Because Tyler needed a caddy for the tournament, who better to bring along than his college teammate and friend the past three years, Trevor Gervais.
“He just graduated this spring and we played together for three years,” said McMorrow about his bag man. “He knows my game as well as anyone.”
With a pair of practice rounds in the books, Monday rolled around and McMorrow was ready to hit the links. The participants of the U.S. Amateur compete in stroke play for two total rounds over the first two days with each player being guaranteed two rounds – one round at The Country Club and the other at Charles River. Following two days and 36 holes, the tournament field is cut to 64 players (a hole-by-hole play-off is used to achieve this number if necessary). Wednesday features the first round (64 players) of match play followed by rounds two (32 players) and three (16 players) on Thursday. The quarterfinal round is held on Friday, the semifinals take place on Saturday, and the championship match concludes the tournament on Sunday, Aug. 18th.
McMorrow was scheduled to tee off at Charles River early Monday morning and The Country Club late in the afternoon on Tuesday. Against the most fierce field he’d faced in his career, the St. Cloud product fired a three-over-par 73 on Monday morning and a nine-over-par 79 on Tuesday to finish tied for 199th out of 312 competitors with a 152 (+12). The Charles River Country Club was a par 70 at 6,635 yards while The Country Club was a par 70 at 7,246 yards.
“This was easily the toughest set up of any course that I have played and there were still guys who shot well under par,” commented McMorrow on the challenging courses.
Tyler went on to reveal that his experience opened his eyes to the skill and competition of elite level golf. “I definitely have a new appreciation for the skill of professionals and top amateurs who make the game look so easy, when it really isn’t. What stands out to me is the sheer talent and how difficult it is to be successful on the big stage.”
He continues, stating, “The experience was a bit humbling but at the same time it helped me to see where I stack up with the best amateurs in the world. That helps put into perspective where my game is at and clearly there is plenty of room for improvement.”
Tyler McMorrow will return to campus on Saturday, Aug. 24th where he will be one of Head Coach Scott Moe’s team leaders as the Gusties begin preseason training.
“Being at the U.S. Amateur and getting a taste of the competition at that stage has me more motivated then ever to work on my game,” said Tyler as he thought about his final year at Gustavus. “There is nothing I want more than to get better and improve. Nothing will come easy, but I am starting to see how hard I will need to work to get my game to where I want it to be.
McMorrow says that the opportunity to compete in such a prestigious tournament gave him a great deal of confidence as well. “I am looking forward to what could be a great year for Gustavus golf and am excited just to be a part of it.”
The Gustavus men’s golf team will kick off its 2013 fall season on Sept. 1st when it travels to the Golden Valley Country Club to face St. Thomas in a dual.
Tyler McMorrow earned a place on the GCAA Division III PING All-America Third Team his junior year. He led the team with a fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships, shooting a four-day, two-over-par 290. McMorrow finished the 2012-13 season ranked 33rd in the nation with a stroke average of 74.82 in 22 rounds.