Oklahoma State sophomore Jordan Niebrugge of Mequon, Wis., completed an amazing three-week run when he beat Sean Dale of Jacksonville, Fla., 3 and 2, to win the 111th Western Amateur Championship at The Alotian Club in Roland, Ark. The Western Amateur is one of the nation’s most grueling and prestigious amateur events, featuring a strong field including most of the world’s top 50 amateurs.
Just what he should be doing, according to new OSU coach Alan Bratton, who helped previous coach Mike McGraw recruit Niebrugge to Stillwater back when he was a relatively unknown Wisconsin state high school champion.
"We were in on him before a lot of the other big schools," Bratton said. "We saw that he was a great high school athlete who also played on the basketball team. He’s just a calm, even-keeled kid who has great things ahead of him. It’s just really cool to see him string together this kind of streak."
Niebrugge, who turned 20 on Aug. 4, had previously won the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and the 112th Wisconsin State Amateur Championship in back-to-back weeks. Earlier this summer he also won the Wisconsin Stroke Play championship.
Niebrugge now is a virtual lock to become only the second Wisconsin golfer to play on a U.S. Walker Cup team. Ray Billows of Racine played in the biennial matches against Great Britian / Ireland in 1938 and 1949.
"Jordan is doing right what we expect our players to be achieving," Bratton said. "Certainly I’ve always believed in him and knew he could be a really good player. But these are very big accomplishments."
Niebrugge will now be one of five OSU players to take aim at the U.S. Amateur Championship Aug. 12-18 at The Country Club in Brookline, Ma.
Others in the Amateur field are Talor Gooch, Ian Davis, Zach Olsen and Wyndham Clark. Including the four tournaments won by Niebrugge, OSU players have won eight significant tournaments this summer, including incoming freshman Olsen’s win in the Southern Amateur.
"All of our players have the goal of winning the U.S. Amateur," Bratton said. "Jordan has been the one who has stuck his neck out to show the others that these types of accomplishments are possible."