Jeff Kolpack, Published August 13 2012
Bison golfers run into tough course at US AmateurFARGO – Bill Carlson stood at the tee box of hole No. 17 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado and saw something he rarely sees: a 274-yard par-3. He tried to hit a hybrid club short of the green and run it up, but his golf ball found the rough to the right. One thing about Cherry Hills: the rough is rough.
“I’ve never played anything that hard before” he said.
Carlson and his North Dakota State teammate, Trent Olson, both found the United States Amateur Championship a true test of golf. Olson shot a 77 and Carlson a 78, both well off the pace to qualify for match play competition, although there is hope for today: they get a different course. They have one more chance at Common Ground Golf Club in the second round of medal play.
“It’s an awesome experience,” said Carlson, who played with players from Georgia and the University of California. “There are all these great college players and some of the best amateur players in the world.”
Both players said the greens were as fast and hard as they’ve ever played. The fairways weren’t very forgiving, either.
“About as half as wide as the courses around Fargo,” Olson said.
Said Carlson: “Once you start missing fairways, it’s hard to score.”
It was hard to score on hole No. 18, which played 595 yards up hill into the wind. Add water down the entire left side of the fairway and birdie, much less par, is a tough proposition.
“It was pretty intimidating, especially into the wind,” Olson said.
Olson is tied for 205th and Carlson 230th. Olson said the plan is to try and put something up under par at Common Ground and see what happens. The top 64 reach match play.
““I’m just going to go out there and have fun,” Carlson said. “I’d like to play well and see what happens.”
Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.