Area club well represented at US Amateur - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Area club well represented at US Amateur

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CARTERVILLE -- Crab Orchard Golf Club will be well represented next week at the US Amateur.

Carterville's Jacob Eklund earned a spot at the US Amateur through a qualifying tournament in St. Louis.

"I played pretty well the first round, and it ended kinda poorly," said Eklund.  "Then the second round, I made four birdies in the last six holes in pretty tough conditions, so it was nice to finish strong and make it to the US Am. "

This year, the US Amateur is at Pinehurst--a place Eklund is excited to tackle.

"You know everybody I've talked to has congratulated me and told me how much I'm going to enjoy Pinehurst," said Eklund.  I'm just excited to get out there and compete."

Despite having never played at Pinehurst, Eklund won't do a great deal of course specific prep work.

"I'm kinda the one that doesn't do too much research," said Eklund.  "I kinda just take in what I see when I get there.  I feel like I can overprepare sometimes and get myself too psyched out.  So I haven't done any research really so far or watched anything.  I've talked to a few people that have played number 2 and kinda gave me some advice as far as the severity of the greens and where to miss in certain places."

"Other than that, once I get there, I'll play a practice round on number two and number four and assess what I have from there, and I'll make a gameplan from there."

Eklund will see a familiar face from back home--Sarah Haas.  Haas will be one of the 47 course officials.  

She's one of only four women selected.

"It was quite exciting," said Haas.  "In the spring, we get our assignments for the year, and when I saw I was invited to the US Am, and it being at Pinehurst--that was a huge deal for me."

Neither Haas nor Eklund know their schedules yet for the first two days.  Whether it's the same or not, Haas will be making sure to catch Eklund's effort.

"It could be that we were scheduled in the same wave, same golf course, but we could be on total opposite golf courses and opposite waves," said Haas.  "Time will tell.  If we're on opposites, I'm gonna work double hard, and I'm gonna go out and watch him play when I'm not refereeing."

"It's gonna be great," said Eklund.  "I went to the US Women's Am last year to caddie, and she was there, and that was great.  To be able to actually be a competitor--hopefully she'll be able to watch me some.  It'll be her first time watching me compete outside of high school."

The US Amateur will get underway August 12th in North Carolina.

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