Less than three weeks after clinching the winning point for his Texas Longhorns at the NCAA Championship, Travis Vick produced another performance that he will remember for the rest of his life.
Vick, once a three-sport athlete at Second Baptist School in Houston, made his way into the top 10 midway through the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, and eventually finished in a tie for 43rd to claim low-amateur honors.
He is the first player since fellow Longhorn Jordan Spieth (2012) to win a team national title and earn the low-amateur tag in the same year. Vick also joins Scottie Scheffler, Justin Leonard and Ben Crenshaw in the group of University of Texas players who were U.S. Open low-ams.
Vick called his past few weeks, which also included a runner-up finish in the NCAA Norman Regional, “a golfer’s high.” He started his U.S. Open week playing with Scheffler in a practice round, and he noted several times that the recent Masters champion has inspired him during this recent run of golf.
“It's like Scottie (Scheffler) did, where he went through a stretch of golf where he's just playing incredible right now,” Vick said of his own play. “I think in the same manner you kind of have to take advantage of the good weeks that you have, and you've just got to keep playing that way. So, to be low am here is pretty cool.”
“It was nice being able to watch the world's best and see what they do well and kind of compare my game to theirs.”
On Sunday, Vick shot a 3-over 73 in the company of playing competitor Brooks Koepka, who could manage only a 77. That placed Vick safely ahead of Texas A&M’s Sam Bennett (T49), North Carolina’s Austin Greaser (T61) and Stewart Hagestad (64th) among the four amateurs who made the cut.
This past week was among one of the best collective performances for amateurs in the U.S. Open. There were six amateurs who made the cut at Chambers Bay in 2015, the most since six also made the cut in the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic Club. No amateurs made the cut a year ago at Torrey Pines.
“(Low amateur) was one of my goals that I had coming in, so to accomplish that feat definitely gives me confidence,” Vick said. “What a great experience.”
For Vick, leading that club of amateurs comes with value as he looks forward to an important summer heading into his senior year in Austin. Vick, ranked No. 23 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, said he will skip this week’s Northeast Amateur to rest for the Palmer Cup and won’t play again until the Western Amateur and U.S. Amateur later this summer. A year ago, Vick made his way into the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont.
“It was nice being able to watch the world's best and see what they do well and kind of compare my game to theirs,” Vick said. “I feel like my ball-striking is there. I think it's in a good spot. Obviously, I didn't hit it well today at all. Just from a ball-striking perspective, there's not a lot to tweak.”