PARAMUS, N.J. — Texas A&M senior Sam Bennett won his third straight match against a player from the top 10 in the amateur world ranking, this one Saturday getting him into the U.S. Amateur championship match, with a victory of 1-up over Dylan Menante.
Bennett has played five matches at Ridgewood Country Club against No. 27 or higher in the amateur ranking
Bennett, No. Bennett, No. 3, is currently facing Georgia Southern senior Ben Carr, who ranks No. 70 and beat Derek Hitchner in the semifinal match.
Bennett never trailed Menante against him, who was part Pepperdines 2021 NCAA champions team. He decided to transfer from North Carolina to complete his senior year. The match was delayed by severe storms, but it was tight all the way.
Bennett seemed to be in control at the turn when he won the 10th with a par and 12th with a birdie. This gave him a 2-up lead with six holes to play.
He made bogey on the 14th after a poor tee. Menante tied the match by making a birdie at the par-3 15th hole. This was only Menantes second birdie of this match.
Both birdie chances were missed at 15 feet on 16th.
Bennett appeared to be on the ropes when the match turned on the 17th. He missed his drive on the Par 5 into the rough. A tree was in front of him which restricted his follow-through. He drove into a bunker from 178 yards and hit it clean to 12 feet.
Bennett rolled in his in, missing Menantes birdie putt. Bennett then pumped his fist, taking a 1-up lead to 18th. Menante was struggling off the tee. He could not punch through trees to reach the collar of the green. Bennett smiled as the ball settled 12 yards away and twirled his club.
He only needed two putts to win and his putt settled inches away.
Carr, who is a winner at Georgia Southern with three victories, was twice behind on the front nine. He won the match with a par at the 11th hole to take his first lead. Then he made back-toback birdies at the 13th & 14th holes to make it a 3-up match.
Carr ended the match at the 16th green.
The finalists are invited to play in the Masters and U.S Open next year at Los Angeles Country Club. Sundays winner also gets into the British Open.