Thursday, June 22, 2006
Steamboat Springs Former Steamboat Springs High School golfer Jeff Franks will play in the esteemed U.S. Amateur Public Links Champ--ionship in July.
Franks, a 2003 SSHS graduate, tied for second at the qualifying tournament at Denver's Mira Vista Golf Course last week.
"It's probably one of the biggest tournaments I've ever had the chance to play in," Franks said. "It's my first (United States Golf Association) championship."
Franks shot a six-under 138 to tie with two others for second place in Mira Vista. The three men competed in a playoff to determine the qualifiers.
"One kid made birdie on the first hole, and then I made par on the second, and the other kid bogeyed," Franks said. "(Mira Vista) was pretty easy. It wasn't difficult at all."
The U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships is from July 9 to 15 near Seattle. One hundred fifty-six golfers have qualified for the championship, which has an unusual format.
"You play two rounds of stroke play, and then they cut the field to 64," Franks said. "From 64 on, it's strictly match play. As long as you keep winning, you stay around. I've never played in anything like that. It will be pretty cool."
The U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship is for members of public golf courses, such as Haymaker Golf Course. The top two competitors in the 156-person field receive an invitation to The Masters.
Franks will be a senior on the University of Wyoming's golf team this fall. He typically is busy playing in tournaments throughout the country, but his schedule has been scaled back this summer.
"It's nice to take some time off," Franks said. "(College golf) has been a good learning experience. It's been something that's stepped me up from high school and junior-level tournaments."
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org