LAKEVILLE, Minn. – Kansas incoming freshman Ben Sigel hasn’t played a single round of golf with the Jayhawks, but that hasn’t stopped him from qualifying for the U.S. Open Sectional in May as well as the making the field Wednesday of the 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Sigel tied for second overall against the field of 76 at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club. He fired a 1-under 141 and was only one stroke away from medalist honors. The Deephaven, Minnesota native fired a 2-under 69 over the first round and followed up with a 1-over 72 in the second. After sinking six birdies in the first round, Sigel needed birdies in two of his final three holes of the second round to qualify for the national event.
The U.S. Amateur Championship will be held August 14-20 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Sigel is one of three Minnesotans to qualify for the 312-person field.
“This was a great performance by Ben and I’m excited for him,” Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel said. “There are not a lot of incoming freshmen who qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship before they attend college. He also made it through local qualifying for the U.S. Open this year, but couldn’t play because of a scheduling conflict with his high school team. He decided to play for his team instead of playing in the U.S. Open Sectional.”
After scoring a 68 at the Mendakota Country Club in May, Sigel advanced to the second round of qualifying for the U.S. Open. The Minnetonka High School product chose to withdraw from the U.S. Open Sectional since it was the same date as his high school team’s sectional championship.
The Skippers ended up qualifying for the state tournament, but were not able to win their second-straight Class 3A state championship. In addition, Sigel finished as runner-up individually after winning state medalist honors in 2016.
“I didn’t have many expectations coming into (the final day). I haven’t been playing that great and have been working on my swing quite a bit,” Sigel told the Minnesota Golf Association. “I went after a lot of pins, which is pretty rare for a USGA qualifier. I didn’t putt great and that held me back a little from going really low, but I was hitting the ball really solid and pretty consistent.”