fbpx
omar morales

Who is the amateur turning heads at the US Open?

Omar Morales caused a bit of a stir on the opening day at Los Angeles Country Club. Here’s what you need to know about the UCLA sophomore
 

We wondered if home comforts would suit Collin Morikawa at Los Angeles Country Club.

The two-time major champion may have grown up in the City of Angels, and posted a 4-0 record at LACC in the 2017 Walker Cup, but, for a while, he was upstaged by a 20-year-old who can almost call the course his second home.

Qualifier Omar Morales estimates he’s played LACC as many as two dozen times over the last two years – and the UCLA sophomore certainly drew on all his knowledge as he posted a creditable one-over-par opening round of 71.

Golf Channel this week reported the Bruins squad can get onto the exclusive club around two Mondays a month and the youngster took advantage.

Morales was the medallist in final US Open qualifying at Hillcrest – shooting consecutive 65s to post a 12 under total, win by two, and grab one of five spots.  

From Puebla, in Mexico, and studying business economics, Morales has been one of the standouts on his college roster – leading the squad with a 72.2 scoring average in his 21 rounds and seven events. Nine of those rounds were under par.

After winning his first collegiate medal following a play-off at the El Macero Classic, he missed the cut by a single shot when making his PGA Tour debut at the Mexico Open. But his +3 total, after efforts of 75 and 72, still turned heads.

Getting his major debut off to a stunning start at a course barely a long drive from his campus, Morales hit the championship’s opening tee shot and birdied the par 5 before adding shots at the sixth and eighth in an open 32 as he topped the early leaderboard.

Three successive bogeys in the early part of the back nine threatened to derail his day, but he rallied before dropping another shot on the penultimate hole.

He’ll still go into the second day, though, with high hopes of making the cut and making a splash on home turf.

What did you think of the performance of Omar Morales? Let us know with a tweet.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

Latest Posts

two holes in one in a row

US Open

Freakishly good! Pro golfer nails two holes-in-one in a row at US Senior Open!

By

Read full article about Freakishly good! Pro golfer nails two holes-in-one in a row at US Senior Open!
rory mcilroy

US Open

Was Rory McIlroy right to leave so abruptly after blowing the US Open?

By

Read full article about Was Rory McIlroy right to leave so abruptly after blowing the US Open?

US Open

Bryson DeChambeau wins US Open after Rory McIlroy short-putt horror show

By

Read full article about Bryson DeChambeau wins US Open after Rory McIlroy short-putt horror show
retief goosen us open

US Open

Exclusive: How Retief rallied to beat Mickelson and the crowd at Shinnecock Hills

By

Read full article about Exclusive: How Retief rallied to beat Mickelson and the crowd at Shinnecock Hills
bryson dechambeau us open

US Open

If Bryson DeChambeau doesn’t make you watch LIV Golf, no one will

By

Read full article about If Bryson DeChambeau doesn’t make you watch LIV Golf, no one will

US Open

Oh dear! Top amateur stung with penalty during US Open third round

By

Read full article about Oh dear! Top amateur stung with penalty during US Open third round
us open greens

US Open

Exclusive: USGA director reveals rigorous processes behind the rapid Pinehurst greens

By

Read full article about Exclusive: USGA director reveals rigorous processes behind the rapid Pinehurst greens
sergio garcia us open

US Open

Could Sergio Garcia win the US Open when we least expect it?

By

Read full article about Could Sergio Garcia win the US Open when we least expect it?
US Open Round 4 tee times

US Open

2024 US Open Round 4 tee times: Sunday’s groupings

By

Read full article about 2024 US Open Round 4 tee times: Sunday’s groupings