Very close to equaling Ken Venturi’s record held since 1956, the young Texan, winner of the US Amateur 2022, signed an anthology Thursday without conceding the slightest bogey before confirming this Friday with a second 68 (-4 ) in a row.
All this under the eyes of Scottie Scheffler with whom he shared his first two laps.
Sam Bennett, statements
A pat on the shoulder as an acknowledgment on the 18th green, a fixed and serious gaze proving his respect, Scottie Scheffler, the current world No.
1 and defending champion, was clearly impressed by the quality of game of his partner, Sam Bennett, 23 years old since December 21. Winner of the US Amateur 2022 by beating 1 up in the final his compatriot Ben Carr, also present this week in Augusta, this purebred Texan, resident of Texas A&M University, thus slammed a huge 68 (-4) without bogey this THURSDAY.
Never in 30 years has an amateur achieved such a feat. A small jewel smoothly led with to give himself full of confidence a birdie at 1 then an eagle at 2. -3 after two holes. Before going to -4 at 6. Magic. 13 greens out of 18 taken in regulation, 13 fairways out of 14 for 27 putts.
Yet Bennett suffers from an illness that is less and less common among modern golfers. A glaring power deficit illustrated by this amazing stat. His average drive (258 meters) is only higher than that of 11 players among the 85 others still involved in the tournament.
And 6 of them play on the Pga Champions Tour for over 50s! Caddyed by his college coach, Brian Kortan, the young man relies on other qualities and came close to erasing Ken Venturi, author of an inaugural 66 at the 1956 Masters.
“I did not know that I was able to break this record, he explained just after his first dream day. I heard of Ken Venturi. I know who knows but that’s it. My priority was above all to hit good shots, put the ball in the right area and do my best.
It’s true that this bogey-free lap is pretty cool”. Something to think a little more about this father, Mark, Air Force veteran and dentist, who left Alzheimer’s disease far too early in June 2021 after seven years of fighting.
It was he who allowed his sons (Sam and Marcus) to discover golf on the small nine-hole municipal public golf course in Madisonville, a lost town two hours drive north of Houston. “He is always there, close to me. I know he is watching me,” he often repeats.
He even got a tattoo on his left forearm of one of the last messages his late father sent him: “Don’t wait to do something. » A fracture for the young Sam Bennett who went through depression after this tragic epilogue, he who was still a junior at that time and about to join the University.
A period that also forged quite a character, even if he is also known not to be the fastest golfer in Texas (see above). But no matter, he has already left his mark on this 87th edition of the Masters.