The 42ndn.d The US Mid-Amateur starts Saturday at Sleepy Hollow Country Club, and among the players vying for the title in Scarborough, New York:
Four-time US mid-amateur champion Nathan Smith.
Two-time winner and four-time Walker Cupper Stewart Hagestad.
Winning US Walker Cup captain Mike McCoy, the oldest player in the field at age 60.
Oh, and Ben Hogan.
No no, to Hogan, the nine-time major winner, died in 1997. This Hogan is a 42-year-old retired police officer from Wellington, Ohio, who played professional golf prior to his 12-year career in law enforcement in San Diego before retiring, moving back to his native Ohio and regaining his amateur status a few years ago.
This will be Hogan’s first USGA Championship start.
“I’m just going to try to enjoy the moment,” Hogan, who is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder from his time as a police officer, told USGA writer David Shefter, who wrote a profile at Hogan earlier this week. “I’m going to try not to put too much pressure on myself. I’m using this as motivation to get back to a few more USGA championships.”
Hogan qualified in dramatic fashion during his Aug. 3 qualifier at Kirtland Country Club in Willoughby, Ohioand made a late double bogey to fall into a 3-to-1 playoff, taking the final spot by hitting a 9-iron from 150 yards for eagle at the first playoff hole.
Like Hall of Fame Hogan, this Hogan also leans on his putt and begs to make putts.
But unlike the golf legend, this Hogan could capture an American mid-amateur title.
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