LORTON, Va. —Jordan Niebrugge hasn't put a lot of thought into exactly what it will be like to play in the Masters. The Oklahoma State sophomore just knows he'll have a far better view of the course next year.
Niebrugge won the U.S. Amateur Public Links on Saturday at Laurel Hill, beating University of California junior Michael Kim 1 up in the 36-hole final, with the winner traditionally receiving a spot in the Masters — if still an amateur
“It's just a dream come true for any golfer,” Niebrugge said.
“This past year after our win at Dallas, the team, we were driving back and we were obsessed with watching the Masters — we got it online. We watched it in the van on the way home — it was five or six hours.”
The 19-year-old Niebrugge, from Mequon, Wis., was 1 up after the morning round and increased the margin to four in the first six holes in the afternoon.
“I thought if I went and played the course like I did all week, I thought I'd have a chance in the end and that's kind of where I ended up,” said Niebrugge.
Niebrugge trailed after only two of his 114 holes in six rounds of match play.
Kim, the 20-year-old Walker Cup player from Del Mar, Calif., rallied with birdie wins on the 27th and 30th holes.
Niebrugge went without a bogey until the 31st hole when he three-putted and had his lead cut to one.
“He only made one bogey in 36 holes, so I knew I had to make birdies to win holes and fell one or two short,” Kim said. “I lost in the round of 16 last year, so I have to keep improving and we'll see what happens next year.”