MORAGA, Calif. — Saint Mary's golf will have three players represent the Gaels in this year's prestigious United States Amateur Championship hosted at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, and Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles from August 14-20.
Senior Perry Cohen, sophomore Jeffrey Inouye-Wong and incoming freshman Ash Hakim all qualified as one of the top-three players in their qualifiers. The three Gaels is the most in program history for a single U.S. Amateur Championship. SMC will now have 14 golfers in program history to have qualified for the historic tournament.
Cohen Qualifies for First U.S. Amateur Appearance
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Cohen finished tied for second after shooting a 9-under 135 total in his qualifier at Bernardo Heights Country Club. The All-WCC First Team honoree shot a solid 67 in the first round, and followed up with five birdies in the second round for a round of 68.
The action-packed summer for Cohen continues, as he transitions back from playing in Europe. Working hard on his game, Cohen delivered an impressive performance on the global stage at the British Am at the historic Royal St. George's Golf Club. In the field of 288 players, Cohen delivered two solid rounds in stroke play (68-71) to finish tied-23rd and most importantly, advance to the match play portion.
The senior displayed great golf during his first match play contest, as he faced the No. 48-ranked world amateur, Travis Smyth. The two players went toe-to-toe, but Cohen ultimately prevailed with a clutch performance to defeat Smyth on the 19th hole of the match.
Newcomer Hakim Finishes Second in Qualifying
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Preparing for his first year as a Gael, Hakim continues to flash his potential with his latest achievement. The incoming freshman shot a two day total 133 (-11) to finish second in the Sunnyside Country Club qualifier. Hakim finished two strokes behind the top finisher, Anthony Manguray.
In the first round, the San Ramon native shot a 63 which included 11 birdies on the scorecard. Hakim started the qualifier hot, with six birdies in his first seven holes. He carded four birdies in the back nine to shoot 9-under in the first 18 holes.
A 2017 graduate of Monte Vista High School, Hakim qualified for the 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. where he shot 74-71 to finish tied-18th in stroke play and advance into match play.
In the round of 64, Hakim defeated Canadian golfer Sam Meek, 1-up. Hakim would then go on to win his round of 32 match to finish the championship in the round of 16.
Overall, Hakim has recorded nine top-5 finishes competing on various junior tours including the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), Future Collegian World Tour (FCWT), Junior Golf Association of Northern California (JGANC) and the Junior Tour of Northern California (JTNC).
Inouye-Wong Impressive in Qualifier
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Now a redshirt sophomore, Inouye-Wong claimed the last qualifying spot at Rancho Murrieta Country Club.
Inouye-Wong shot a two day total 137, just one stroke behind leaders David Laskin and Alexander Lee.
The 5-10 native of Roseville, Calif., Inouye-Wong played in his first collegiate tournament for the Gaels in last season's Saint Mary's Invitational.
Since the inaugural event, the U.S. Amateur has enjoyed an illustrious history of great champions, including Bob Jones, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. In 1930, Jones completed his Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Woods, in 1996, became the first to win three consecutive Amateur titles.
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