Aug. 23, 2010
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IOWA CITY, IA – Two University of Iowa golfers flew halfway across the country Friday to take part in what is arguably the most significant amateur golf event in the world.
Vince India and Barrett Kelpin are in the field at the 2010 U.S. Amateur, which is being held at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, WA. India and Kelpin are two of 312 players that advanced through local qualifiers to make it to the prestigious tournament. The field will play two rounds of stroke-play Monday and Tuesday before the cut is made to the top 64 players, who will then compete for the title through match-play Wednesday through Sunday.
Kelpin finished second at his qualifier for the second consecutive year. The junior from Kalamazoo, MI, carded a 36-hole score of 137 (-7) to earn a share of second place at The Moors Golf Club in Portage, MI.
The 2010 U.S. Amateur will be Kelpin’s second trip to the well-known event. Last year, he missed the cut by one stroke and his expectations are for that not to happen this year.
“It’s nice to go back again,” Kelpin said. “Last year was fun, but to miss match play by one shot was tough, so I’m looking forward to having another shot at it this year. My expectations are pretty high. I feel I can beat anyone right now. Have to stay patient, it will be a tough course but you are not going to birdie every hole. There will be some peaks and valleys, but I just stay patient and I should be able to have some success.”
Kelpin has enjoyed success over the summer playing in numerous amateur tournaments. He finished tied for sixth place at the Monroe Invitational, which is considered the first major of the summer amateur schedule. He also made the final eight of the famous Men’s North & South Amateur at Pinehurst, which is in its 110th year.
“I spent the summer at home, basically all I did was golf and hang out, had a good summer schedule of tournaments,” Kelpin said. “It helped my confidence, and the finishes will help me at the U.S. Amateur as well.”
India, a native of Deerfield, IL, punched his ticket at the USGA Amateur Qualifier at Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton, IL. The UI senior fired an opening round at even par 72 in his first time to play the course. A second round of 69 (-3) brought his tournament total to 141 (-3), good for second place and a trip to Washington.
India has played his share of summer tournaments, with some impressive finishes to put on his resume. He won the Illinois State Amateur by seven shots, tied for second at the CDGA Amateur Championship where he defeated a player that previously qualified for the U.S. Open and finished tied for eighth at the Southeast Amateur.
“Usually I work a lot during the summer, do a lot of caddying and work golf camps,” India said. “But this summer I worked a lot more on my golf swing and paying attention to golf. I was working at least once a week when I wasn’t in tournaments. I really focused on my short game, which paid off for me in some of those tournaments. Qualifying for the U.S. Amateur puts a really good finish on everything I’ve done this summer.”
Both golfers were scheduled to arrive in Washington on Friday and play a few practice rounds before stroke play competition started Monday. Kelpin and India were both excited to check out Chambers Bay, which is scheduled to host the 2015 U.S. Open.
“I’ve heard it’s an awesome course,” Kelpin said. “I’ve seen pictures, right on Puget Sound, pretty scenic holes. I don’t think I’ve played any course like it. It should be interesting seeing the course this weekend.”
“I’ve heard it’s a gorgeous golf course,” added India. “We are going to get the first taste of it and see how it stands up for us. Then they will probably trick it out a little bit.”
Kelpin believes another U.S. Amateur experience will help him during the 2010-11 season in Black and Gold.
“This is the cream of the crop,” Kelpin said. Playing a tough course like this shows you what parts of your game you have to work on the most. So that will help me, the experience will benefit me for the rest of my college career and my golfing career.”
UI head golf coach Mark Hankins is also excited two of his players are gaining invaluable experience in a national event.
“”I think this year Barrett will have a better opportunity to go out there and play to his potential,” Hankins said. “Last year, he was extremely happy to make it for the first time, but this year he will be able to use that experience to create a very positive attitude. He played great at the end of the spring semester and has continued to become more confident in his game to where he feels like he belongs. This is a nice extension of his summer, and will help prep him for our fall season as well”.
“Vince has been playing well recently with a nice win at the Illinois Amateur and some early national experience,” Hankins said. “This tournament was a goal for Vince this summer. It is the best amateur tournament in the world and will bring the best out in both of our guys. When they get there, it will be a who’s who in college golf, the best amateurs in the country. They will have to concentrate on what they do individually and compete to get into match-play. Once they get to that point they both have extensive experience in match-play format which will help them compete their best.”
The Golf Channel will televise the match play portion of the 2010 U.S. Amateur on Wednesday and Thursday (5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.), along with Friday (noon-2 p.m.). NBC will pick up the coverage Saturday and Sunday (3 p.m.-5 p.m.).