UF’s Vogel wins U.S. Amateur tourney

University of Florida senior men’s golfer T.J. Vogel (Cooper City, Fla.) defeated Kevin Aylwin 12 & 10 to win the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway, Utah on July 14. With the victory, the 2012 NCAA Division I Second Team All-American will likely receive an invitation to the 2013 Masters Tournament.

Currently ranked 33rd in the Men’s World Amateur Rankings, Vogel did not lose one hole to Aylwin en route to the Public Links Championship. In 26 holes, Vogel recorded 10 birdies and no bogeys. On his 24th hole, he had the opportunity to match the USGA 36-hole final margin-of-victory record of 12 & 11, but halved the hole.

Vogel also received a 10-year exemption from qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Public Links, exemptions from qualifying for the next two U.S. Amateurs, and exemptions from local qualifying for the next three U.S. Opens, provided he is still an amateur.

“He is a great kid and player and has worked very hard to do what he has done,” UF head coach Buddy Alexander said. “He will be fulfilling every young player’s dream by going to the Masters Tournament. It is a good day for him and Gator golf.”

Set at the longest course in U.S. Amateur Public Links history, the championship began on Monday, July 9 with two rounds of stroke play. After the two rounds, the starting field was cut from 156 golfers to the low 64 scorers. Vogel finished stroke play with the second-lowest score, recording a 6-under-par for 36 holes.

The Cooper City, Fla. native earned the second seed and advanced to match play. In match play, Vogel defeated Paul Misko (1 up), Greg Condon (1 up), Anton Arboleda (3 & 2), 2012 U.S. Open-qualifier Alberto Sanchez (1 up), and 2011 runner-up Derek Ernst (4 & 3) to earn a spot in the 36-hole final match.

The U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship has an unqualified success since its inception in 1922, giving exposure to many public-course players who otherwise might not have an opportunity to compete in a national championship.

Courtesy UF Communications