SMU’s Kelly Kraft Beat World No. 1 Amateur Cantlay to Capture U.S. Amateur Title

Dallas Hall at Dedman College at Southern Meth...

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SMU’s Kelly Kraft upset UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay at Erin Hills in the 36-hole U.S. Amateur championship final, winning the U.S. Amateur title.

And is if outperforming the world No. 1 amateur golfer was not enough, Kraft was also named to the US Walker Cup team right after his win. The other finalist, Cantlay, already had a spot on the team. Amateurs Jordan Spieth and Blayne Barber also received a berth to the Walker Cup.

Both the winner and the runner-up automatically qualified for the U.S. Open and the Masters. As the U.S. Amateur title holder, Kraft, 22 also received a spot in next year’s British Open.

Kelly Kraft who finished his senior year at Southern Methodist University was definitely not expected to win the final by most as he faced top-ranked Patrick Cantlay who is expected to have a bright future in professional golf.

For the entire week at the tournament, Cantlay was leading, including the opening round when he shot below par for the last two holes to decrease Kraft’s 4-up lead to 2-up. But when he made back-to-back bogeys at the 15th and the 16th, he could not close the gap completely.

Kraft’s golf performance is on the rise but he still has a year to go in Southern Methodist University where he is going to receive his sociology degree though his academics will probably suffer from performances in the Walker Cup and Masters.