We're used to hearing stories of teens qualifying for big-time tournaments against older, more seasoned competition. But it's not every day that you hear of a teen qualifying for an elite, two-man tournament by himself. That's exactly what Brent Grant did on Wednesday at Honolulu Country Club.
The 18-year-old had to go it alone in qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship when his partner, Bill Walbert, was called the day before and told he needed to be at a surgery the day of the event. Grant brought a friend along, thinking he could be a substitute for Walbert, but the deadline had long passed to name a sub. Officials told Grant he would have to play on his own, turning the format from a better ball of two to a better ball of, well, one.
No problem apparently for Grant, who fired a bogey-free, 9-under 63 to qualify. That 63 was Grant's personal best by five shots, topping his first of two rounds to qualify for the 2013 U.S. Amateur.
“Something just went right,” Grant said to the USGA. “The putts just started to fall and I was focused on what I was doing.”
So far, Grant is the only player to qualify for the event, to be played for the first time next May at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, by himself. Walbert, a 47-year-old physician's assistant, will have to clear his schedule entirely for this trip.