Golf MVP Wraps Action at U.S. Amateur Championship
ERIN, Wis. - George Washington men's golf standout Andres Pumariega opened the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship with an even-par round of 70 on Monday, but battled heavy winds and rain through an 8-over-par round of 80 on Tuesday to miss advancing to match play at the prestigious event.
Pumariega's two-round total of 8-over 150 placed him in a tie for 216th in the 312-player field. The low 64 scorers in stroke play advanced to the match-play round on Wednesday.
The rising senior was in contention following Monday's round of 70, which placed him in a tie for 62nd. The Erin Hills layout was hit with a near four-hour weather delay due to thunderstorms Tuesday morning and strong gusts and a soggy course led to a series of higher scores later in the day.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in the country and considered one of the top events in golf. Past winners include Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
Pumariega qualified for the championship by shooting a two-day score of 141 to finish in a three-way tie for first place on the famed TPC Blue Monster Course at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in his hometown of Miami, Fla. That made the victory particularly meaningful, Pumariega said. His caddy was the childhood friend who turned him onto golf when he was 12.
"I played up and down in the first round but in the second round my putting was great," said Pumariega, a senior who transferred to GW last year. Even sweeter was the birdie on the 18th hole to seal the win. "It's really flattering to qualify," he said.
The U.S. Amateur Championship play began with 18 holes of stroke play on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23, after which the field was cut to the low 64 scorers. Six rounds of match play began on Aug. 24 and the championship concludes on Sunday, Aug. 28, with a 36-hole final match.
At GW, Pumariega won an unprecedented three straight events this past March and April, beginning with a victory against
Pumariega was the 2011 men's golf team Most Valuable Player. He led the team with a 75.1 stroke average and had three top-5 finishes, four top-10 finishes and five top-20 finishes in nine tournaments.
Colonials men's golf coach Terry Shaffer said he couldn't be prouder of his star player.
"I'm really excited for him. The U.S. Amateur Championship is the top of the heap," Shaffer said. "I wish I could caddy for him."
Shaffer said having a player qualify is good for GW's rankings and good for the program all around. "Andres is an excellent player and a real boon to the team."