The summer of Summerhays is continuing this week, not only at the PGA Tour’s stop in Minnesota at the 3M Open, but also in Pennsylvania at the Sunnehanna Amateur, one of golf’s premier amateur events.
After Tony Finau parted ways with his caddie, his coach Boyd Summerhays jumped on the bag and the two worked together for a 6-under 65 during the opening round at TPC Twin Cities. While that was happening, Boyd’s son, Preston, a rising star in the amateur golf world and reigning U.S. Junior champion, was working his way around Sunnehanna Country Club and now sits alone atop the leaderboard entering Friday’s final round.
“I was easing my way in, trying to play smart golf and pick apart the course where I can, try to attack when I get some wedges in my hand, but mostly play safe and try to make a lot of pars,” Preston said of his first-round strategy. “The second day I got hot with the putter on the back nine, then today I stacked in a couple wedges and long irons and I made a big putt to shoot the 4 under.”
Sunnehanna Amateur: Leaderboard
The 2021 Arizona State commit has been able to improve each day with rounds of 68, 67 and now 66, but knows he needs to improve in order to bring home the title. He left himself some “sketchy putts” that didn’t bode well for Sunnehanna’s “really sloped” greens on Thursday.
“Pars and two-putts are going to be very valuable tomorrow,” said Preston.
He would know. Making his debut at the event last year, Preston didn’t make the cut before the final round. Last year, he remembers six or maybe even eight three-putts. Over the last three days, he’s three-putted just once.
“Shaving shots that way has helped a lot this week,” he added.
That same measured approach to the game will be key for Preston not only in Friday’s final round, but for the rest of his summer.
After the Sunnehanna, Preston goes straight to the Western Amateur at Crooked Stick (July 27-Aug. 1), followed by five days off. From there it’s the the U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes (Aug. 10-16). Then the U.S. Open at Winged Foot (Sept. 17-20).
The kid they call “Ruthless P” for his attitude on the course has the schedule to back the name. Another major amateur win will prove he’s got the game, too.