Two IUPUI golfers – one men’s and one women’s – recently qualified to take part in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships, to be played from June 27-July 2.
On the women’s side, Bishop Luer’s graduate, Kristi O’Brien shot 70 at Hickory Stick on June 1 to earn one of three spots from that qualifier. She’s the lone Indiana-native to qualify for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.
To-be senior Ben Engle earned a spot by shooting 139 at Purgatory recently. His score was three shots better than BSU’s Eric Steger and five better than Chase Wright as he became just the second player from Indiana to qualify. Previously, Griffin Wood of Boonville, Ind. won the Cambridge Golf Club qualifier.
“I’m really excited for both Ben and Kristi,” IUPUI Head Coach John Andrews said. “It’s going to be a great experience for both of them. They both work really hard on their games, so it’s great to see them rewarded with success. I know they’ll both play well and grow from the opportunity.
“Anytime you’re one win away from The Masters, it’s a pretty big deal.”
Both tournaments will be held at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Oregon, beginning on June 27. Bandon Dunes, home to four courses along Oregon’s sandy southern coastline, will devote its Bandon Trails and Old Macdonald layouts to the USGA’s two championships for public-course players.
Old Macdonald, which will host the final three match-play rounds of both championships, was named after Charles Blair Macdonald, often considered the father of American golf course architecture and the inaugural U.S. Amateur champion in 1895. The course was designed by Jim Urbina and Tom Doak, the latter of which did Pacific Dunes. Macdonald’s design aesthetics served as the architects’ inspiration for Old Macdonald.
Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed Bandon Trails, which opened in 2005. Capturing the essence of links golf, Bandon Trails offers players a variety of scenic vistas with a firm-and-fast element often found on links-style courses.
Engle recently completed his junior year, earning First Team All-Summit League honors with a school record 73.32 stroke average. He had six top 10 finishes and finished among the top five four times. O’Brien turned in a school record 79.04 stroke average this past season, including six top 10 finishes.