Novara Ready for US Amateur

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By WSIL Sports

MURPHYSBORO -- Drew Novara will get on a plane and head east Thursday, in advance of playing in his first United States Amateur next week. It will by far be the biggest opportunity in the Saluki golfer's young career.

Golf wasn't always a top priority for Murphysboro's Drew Novara. After breaking both ankles in junior high, that all changed. According to Drew, "Running had always been a punishment so I didn't want to do cross country and then with the ankles we decided football probably would be a
bad idea."

Golf was a good idea. Novara used a strong high school career to earn a scholarship to SIU. This summer, the Saluki sophomore is dominating the Southern Illinois Golf Association scene. He has more than doubled the point total of his nearest competitor in the player of the year standings.

The summer just keeps getting better. Two weeks ago, Novara beat out 89 other golfers to win a US Amateur qualifier in Bloomington. Novara said, "I was like so excited I just couldn't even speak."

Novara said the win was made even more special by his caddy, his dad, Len. "I think that's probably one of the coolest things you can do as a golfer you get to share a big tournament like that you get to share it with somebody close to you and my biggest fan."

So now it's off to Brookline, Massachusetts for the Amateur, a tournament previously won by the likes of Palmer, Nicklaus, Mickelson, and Woods.

"Just all the guys you see on TV--tons of them have played in this, a lot of them have won, I thinks it's one of the coolest things," Novara said.

Not only is the tournament prestigious, it is being held at one of the most historic golf courses in the US, simply named "The Country Club."

Novara knows it will not be easy. "People aren't just gonna birdie every hole out there. I mean it's gonna be set up--the rough's gonna be thick. The pins are gonna be tucked. They don't want people to shoot really good scores there. They want to see who can play the best in those conditions," Drew said. He added, "Overall goal is to win the whole thing. You know I'm proud of how far I've come so far but there's a lot of work to do."

The US Amateur will start Monday.
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