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sam bennett

Meet Sam Bennett – the amateur chasing history at the Masters

Sam Bennett is only in the infancy of his golf career, but if his performance at the Masters is anything to go by, we can expect more leaderboard appearances from the 23-year-old
 

The 2023 Masters leaderboard is littered with many of the usual suspects who regularly contend for major titles – apart from one man.

Sam Bennett reached 8-under-par after two rounds of the Masters, just four shots behind Brooks Koepka and in the hunt for what would be an unprecedented achievement in the modern era.

He has achieved the best score of any amateur at any men’s major championship after 36 holes since Ken Venturi was 9-under-par at the halfway point of the 1956 Masters.

But who is the young master making the headlines in Georgia, and is it such a shock that he is competing at the top of a major pile?

Who is Sam Bennett?

As a junior golfer, Bennett played for Madisonville High School and notched five top-five finishes in American Junior Golf Association events.

As well as excelling at golf, Bennett was an all-around athlete in tennis, basketball, and baseball as a youngster

In his first year at Texas A+M beginning in 2018, he competed in 11 of the side’s 12 events as a freshman and was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Four years later, Bennett announced himself as one of the best amateur players in the world when winning the US Amateur Championship, confirming his invitation down Magnolia Lane.

He is also set to compete at the US Open in June at Los Angeles Country Club.

He beat Ben Carr 1 up in the final at Ridgewood Country Club, and Carr is also one of a number of amateurs competing at the 2023 Masters.

Not only does he catch the eye for the quality of his golf, but the unique style of his swing. Viktor Hovland, Bryson DeChambeau, and Matt Fitzpatrick have all won the US Amateur in the last decade.

Bennett has previously been a finalist for the Ben Hogan and the Fred Haskins awards which recognise the very best collegiate golfers in the States.

The 23-year-old also holds his school’s scoring average record of 69.97. He has five World Amateur Golf Ranking wins, most recently at the John Burns Intercollegiate.

The Madisonville native competed in the US Open last year at Brookline where he came tied for 49th and he also missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Now in his fifth year at school, Bennett is currently ranked sixth in the PGA Tour University rankings representing Texas A+M, a frighteningly good sign in the quality of college golfers in America.

He is a man not short of confidence, and after carding a 68 in the second round at Augusta National, he could become the first amateur to win a major since 1933 this week.

But Bennett is playing for so much more too. Less than two years ago, he lost his father, Mark, to early-onset Alzheimer’s.

You might have noticed a tattoo on the inside of his left forearm on the Masters coverage. It reads: “Don’t wait to do something,” something his father said to him before he died.

An incredible player with an incredible story.

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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