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June 18, 2023

Birmingham’s Gordon Sargent finishes as low am at US Open

By Gregg Dewalt, Alabama Golf News Editor
Gordon Sargent,will play in St. Andrews Links Collegiate

Learning from the pros in his 2nd major

While Wyndham Clark was on his way to winning the U.S. Open Championship Sunday at the Los Angeles Country Club, Birmingham’s Gordon Sargent wrapped up his second major start by finishing as the low amateur.

Sargent, a rising star junior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, closed with a 1-under 69 to finish at 4-over 284. Sargent, who played his high school golf at Mountain Brook and is among the world’s top amateurs, was one of only three amateurs to make the cut at LACC. He beat out Ben Carr (293) and Maxwell Moldovan (297).

He also was the only player in the field with ties to Alabama to make the cut.

“Yeah, it’s cool,” he said of being the low amateur. “It’s kind of what your goal as an amateur is, just to be the low am, especially with so many amateurs here this week. It means a lot and gives me a lot of confidence, especially going into amateur golf.”

Aside from being the low amateur, Sargent likely will be remembered for a rarity on his final hole when his routine par putt hit the back of the hole and bounced out while being shown on the national television broadcast.

“I had like a two and a half footer straight up the hill that hit the back of the hole and just bounced right back to me,” he told the media after the round. “I haven’t seen that happen in a while, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

Sargent shot rounds of 69-71-75-69. It was a redemption of sorts for the two-time Alabama Men’s Amateur champ who missed the cut in his first major appearance at The Masters.

Sargent said his was more settled going into the U.S. Open than at the Masters. He said he learned a little bit more about himself and his game moving forward.

“Playing in my second major, just kind of wasn’t as nervous as the first one but also just like you really have to limit the mistakes and just — you have to make bogey your worst score, which I did an okay job of,” he said. “You’ve got to have all the shots, and it definitely exposes your weaknesses.”

Gordon Sargent: ‘Limiting the mistakes is what I envy in their games’

Sargent got off to a slow start in the final round and was 2-over after five holes. But he reeled off three straight birdies on Nos. 6-8 to move under par for the round.

Being around the best players also served as a learning experience. He said he’s taking even more confidence with him after his high finish, but came away with some things to work on.

“I know that my good golf, I can compete with the best and just need to limit the mistakes a little bit,” he said. [The professionals] seem to just limit their mistakes really well. They don’t really hit it out of position too often, and if they do, they just kind of get it back in position after that. You’ll see the leaders aren’t making doubles out there, and that was the key. Kind of just the consistency and like limiting the mistakes is what I envy in their games and what I’m trying to get better at.”

Another honor for Sargent

Earlier this month, Sargent was named to the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup team for the United States.

Sargent is the all-time leader for career wins (5) at Vanderbilt and currently ranked No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. A  2022 NCAA Division I individual national champion, Sargent won the Mason Rudolph Championship, John Hayt Invitational and East Lake Cup earlier this season.

The Arnold Palmer Cup was co-founded by Arnold Palmer and the Golf Coaches Association of America and began at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, in 1997. The event is a Ryder Cup-style tournament featuring the top men’s and women’s university/college golfers matching the United States against a team of International players.

The Palmer Cup has been played at some of the world’s greatest courses, including The Old Course at St. Andrews, The Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Baltusrol, The Honors Course, and Cherry Hills. Beginning with the 2018 matches at Evian Resort Golf Club, the Palmer Cup is the only major tournament featuring men and women playing side-by-side as partners.

The United States leads the Palmer Cup series 13-12-1.

Gregg Dewalt is the editor of Alabama Golf News

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Featured image: Screengrab, NBC Sports

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