13 Aug 2020 | Amateur golf |
Long drive pays off for Trent
by Mark Hayes
There's the obvious reason Jack Trent wants to succeed at this week's US Amateur Championship - but there's something more, too.
Queenslander Trent, the only Aussie to make the match play phase, advanced to the Round of 32 today with an impressive 3&2 win over American Jackson Suber at Bandon Dunes, Oregon.
But, like many of this week's competitors in this pandemic-riddled year, Trent hasn't had nearly as much competition play as he'd like.
"It's a bit of a catch, because it can be a long week but I really would like to get as much tournament play as possible," said the University of Nevada Las Vegas rising senior.
"Because they've cancelled the college (NCAA) season and I really haven't got many places to play right now.
"So I'm trying to do as well as I can here, because I don't know when I'm going to play again.
"And besides, I drove all the way up here to Oregon (14 hours from Las Vegas), so I don't want to go home early because ... it would have been a long trip for nothing," he said with a laugh.
Trent, who at the start of this long week knew he'd do well to survive the nearby Trails Course which hosted half of the stroke play phase, was happy to be back on the Dunes Course today - and it showed.
"The Trails just doesn't look good for me and and I really like the Dunes, so I knew I just had to qualify and then take it from there," the 21-year-old said.
"Today I thought if I tried to stay steady and make pars on the 11th and 12th, that could win me at least one of those holes and that's an important part of the course."
And that's precisely how it played out.
Trent and Suber had traded hole victories throughout the front nine and the Sunshine Coaster's bogey on 10 brought his opponent back to square.
But Trent's pars on the long par-4 11th and long par-3 12th were indeed good for two wins and a birdie on the 14th was effectively the sealer.
Two pars later and Trent was through on the 16th green when Suber missed a medium-range birdie try.
"I hit three really good shots on the 14th, so that was great," Trent said.
"But really, it's a course where slow and steady is pretty good.
"It's very exposed with no trees, so you have to be patient at times ... hopefully I can stay that way."
Trent will next face Cameron Sisk, who survived an 18-for-3 playoff just to reach the knockout phase, but pulled off the upset today in knocking out No.3 seed and fellow American Ben Shipp.
But Trent will not be taking Sisk lightly.
"I played with him at the Western Amateur (recently) and he's a really solid player," the Aussie said.
"And thinking too far ahead this week, while it's a good thought, it's so premature because everyone can play, so it's just one shot at a time tomorrow."
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