On Thursday morning at Erin Hills golf course in Wisconsin, CSUâ€™s own Zahkai Brown fell 1-up to Jordan Russell, a senior at Texas A&M in the U.S. Amateur Championshipâ€™s round of 64.
Brown, a senior business administration major, remained tied in match play with Russell until the 18th hole, where a double-bogey denied him the opportunity to advance in the tournament.
In spite of the loss, Brown has experienced a meteoric rise the likes of which CSU golf has not seen in quite some time. The last time a current Ram entered the Amateur Match Play Championships was in 1996, when J.D. Manning fell to the two-time defending champion Tiger Woods.
Brown managed to make the cut to enter the championship by posting a 4-under par in stroke play, good enough to tie him for 13th place out of 309 who completed the event.
The end of the tournament marks the end of a busy couple of weeks for Brown. On Aug. 15, he overcame a six-shot deficit in the final round to win the Colorado Stroke Play Championship.
Coach Jamie Bermel said in a press release that the come from behind victory was a testament to the hard work Brown has done throughout the summer, and his dedication to the game. He added that the win marked a big day both for Brown, and CSU menâ€™s golf.
Brown will now rejoin with his teammates whose regular season will begin on Sep. 12 in Erie at the Mark Simpson Invitational.
Expectations will be high this year, particularly for Brown, who first broke onto the national scene when he was named the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year following the 2008-09 season.
Brown has continued to improve his game, competing in all 13 events as a sophomore, and tying for third in the Topy Cup against some of the best American and Japanese collegiate golfers.
Brown has challenged himself by competing in several amateur events this summer, leading up to the Amateur Championships last week. Brown enters an exclusive club of golfers by competing in the tournament, whose alums include Phil Mickelson, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods.
Sports reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who: Zahkai Brown
What: U.S. Amateur Championship
Where: Erin Hills Golf Course, Erin, WI
Result: Lost in round of 64