In Week 42, Oregon State senior, Diego Velasquez, blew away a top-class field to take the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at The Ridges by seven strokes. The young Colombian followed an opening round 66, six under par, with a pair of 70s on the 7,147-yard layout at The Ridges Golf and Country Club in Tennessee to claim his third career collegiate victory. On the back of his latest triumph, Velasquez makes an 80-place leap to WAGRank 12 and is named as Golfweek’s Player of the Week.
“I knew I just had to make pars today and people behind me had to catch up,” said Velasquez. “I eagled number eight and that really helped me keep some momentum. On the back I was even, which is what I wanted to do.”
Finishing tied for second place were Canada’s Matt Hill and England’s Darren Renwick. Former number-one, Hill, climbs one place to fourth as he bids to reach number one, while Renwick gets his first taste of the world’s Top 20, up five to 18th.
Next door, in Alabama, Hunter Hamrick won the rain-curtailed Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate at Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills. Contested over just 18 holes, the University of Alabama sophomore made four birdies in a row from the 15th to shoot a five-under-par 65 and take medalist honours by one shot. US Walker Cup star, Bud Cauley, posted a 68 to take third place. Hamrick is up 21 places this week to 26th while Cauley remains WAGRanked 6.
Threatening the Top 10 after Week 42 is Auburn University sophomore, Blayne Barber. He advances one place to WAGRank 11 after taking medalist honours at the St Augustine Amateur. Barber completed three rounds of St Johns Golf Club in St Augustine, Florida, in a level-par total of 210, enough for a three-shot victory. It was the second big win of 2009 for Barber, the first having come at the Florida Amateur in July.
Finally, it was a bumper Week 42 for Argentinean amateurs with Emiliano Grillo winning the Ping Invitational and Jorge Valdes Fernandez taking the Campeonato Argentino de Menores. Grillo, a student at the IMG Leadbetter Academy, took his title by three stokes at Karsten Creek Golf Club, Oklahoma. Fernandez, meanwhile, shot a final-round 68 at Tandil Golf Club in Buenos Aires to claim a five-shot victory.