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Cermak qualifies for 2012 U.S. Amateur

By Nick Delwiche
On August 15, 2012

UT sophomore Pat Cermak qualified for the 2012 United States Amateur after finishing one-under par (72-71) over 36 holes at Oakwood Country Club in Coal Valley, Ill.

The Chicago native drained a 30-foot putt on the 17th hole and made par on the 18th to qualify for a four-man playoff. The top two golfers advanced to the tournament. Cermak pared the first playoff hole, earning a trip to Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado for the 2012 U.S. Amateur.

“I’m very excited,” said Cermak. “It’s the best amateur tournament in the world. This is what you play for as an amateur golfer. You practice to try and get in this tournament and it’s very exciting.”

The last time Cherry Hills hosted the U.S. Amateur was in 1990, when an Arizona State sophomore named Phil Mickelson became the first left-handed golfer to win the tournament.

“It’s an honor to be in the same tournament as Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods and many guys on tour that have played and just to be a part of that is very cool,” Cermak said. “I’m just going to soak in the whole experience, but at the same time I’m going to have to game plan and do the best I can to advance and try to hit as many fairways and greens as I can.”

As big as this tournament is, Cermak understands that the best game plan is to keep things simple, making smart shots and focusing on fundamentals like his swing.

“I still have to try and hit fairways and easy reads but I really have to figure out where I want to be putting from,” Cermak said. “At the same time I have to keep it simple with my golf swing. It’s just like any other golf tournament.”

As important as it is to play this tournament like any other golf tournament, preparation is not limited to the physical aspect. It must also include mental focus and composure when squaring off with the best amateurs in the country.

“The goal is to not be intimidated by anyone, just stay focused and mentally go out there with the same game plan that I would in any other tournament,” Cermak said.

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