Few golfers, professionals included, have had a better string
of three weeks than Oklahoma State sophomore Jordan Niebrugge [right]. The Mequon,
Wis., native completed a trio of amateur victories starting with the U.S.
Public Links on July 20, ending most recently with the Western Amateur Monday
Niebrugge’s surprising 36-hole victory at the Public Links over Cal's Michael Kim two weeks ago was capped off this weekend at the Alotian Club in
Roland, Ark., when he ran through the 16-man playoff at the 112th Western Amateur, often referred to as “The Masters of Amateur golf.”
Niebrugge topped University of North Florida golfer Sean
Dale 3 & 2 Monday morning after rain forced a stoppage of play Sunday evening
with the match all square after eight holes. He then won the first three holes
of the day and raised a trophy for the third-straight week.
At the Western, Niebrugge trailed for just four holes
throughout his four matches, half of those coming in the semifinal against
Arkansas senior Sebastian Cappelen. Niebrugge was near elimination, 1-down
through 16 holes before besting Cappelen on both remaining holes to earn
himself a spot in the championship match against Dale.
Between two of the nation’s more prestigious amateur
tournaments, Niebrugge traveled home to win the Wisconsin State Amateur on
July 25. Of the three events, the less-heralded tournament at home was possibly
the tastiest of his three victories.
Niebrugge opened with back-to-back rounds in the 60s at The
Bog, just north of Milwaukee, Wis. He then carded a 1-under 71 before shooting
4-over on Sunday as Illinois junior Charlie Danielson played catch up with a
69. Niebrugge double-bogeyed the 18th hole, but his final putt earned
him the one-shot victory.
Without much time to breathe, his focus now shifts to from
Roland, Ark. to the Country Club in Brookline, Mass. for the U.S. Amateur, likely his last chance
to earn a bid to the U.S. Walker Cup team. At this point, no amateur is playing
better golf, but Niebrugge was ranked just 19th in the American
Amateur standings as of July 29. Tag on the Western victory and his stock is
sure to rise, but there is work left to do, with only five spots remaining, two
of them promised to mid-Amateurs (golfers 25 years old and up). It would be an
impressive feat if Niebrugge can pull it off. He’s come a very long way in a
very short time.
As of July 29, Niebrugge was ranked 44 in the World Amateur
Player of the Year standings. Less than one year ago he was ranked 1,315. It’s
been quite the year for Jordan.