Matt Williams Qualifies For The U.S. Amateur
July 25, 2001
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Matt Williams recently became one of just three Kansas State golfers to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. The Holton, Kan., native accomplished that feat by placing third in a U.S. Amateur qualifying event at the Shadow Glen Golf Course in Kansas City, Mo., on July 23. The 2001 U.S. Amateur will be held at the East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Ga., on Aug. 20-26.
The senior-to-be joins current Wildcat teammates Scott McNeely and Bryan Milberger as the only K-State golfers to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. McNeely and Milberger played in the 1999 U.S. Amateur in Pebble Beach, Calif.
The qualifier at Shadow Glen was one of 24 held around the country during the week of July 23-30. Williams' 36-hole score of 2-under-par 142 was bettered only by Charlie Santaularia of Lawrence, Kan., who won the qualifier by firing a 4-under-par 140, and runner-up Steve Shuert of St. Louis, Mo., who finished one shot off the pace at 3-under-par.
Williams advanced to the U.S. Amateur qualifier courtesy of his victory one day earlier at the 91st Kansas Amateur Match Play Championship at the Mission Hills Country Club in Kansas City. Williams defeated Travis Engle of Lindsborg, in the 36-hole final. His margin of victory was the greatest in state amateur title-match history. Williams led by six after the first 18 holes of the scheduled 36-hole final and proceeded to put Engle away after the lunch break, finishing the match with a conceded birdie on the No. 11 hole.
Williams received some help from fellow Wildcat teammate Milberger during the week of the state amateur. Milberger served as Williams' caddie throughout the Kansas Amateur. Williams joined some elite company in K-State golf history with the victory as he became the first Wildcat to win the Kansas Amateur since Jim Colbert in 1965.
"I'm very excited about how this played out," Williams said. "I was very pleased that I could play in the Kansas Amateur and come back out the next day and qualify for the U.S. Amateur."
Williams' success did not come about with the summer heat, but began back in April when he posted a school record of 7-under-par 64 at Branson Creek Invitational (April 14-15). The previous record of 67 was set by Brett Vuillemin at the Texas Intercollegiate on Sept. 26, 1988.
Williams has been on a roll ever since.