Can We Expect Big Future From 2023 Masters Low Amateur Sam Bennett?

Can We Expect Big Future From 2023 Masters Low Amateur Sam Bennett?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Texas A&M golfer Sam Bennett made a big splash at the 2023 Masters. He qualified for the weekend when back-to-back rounds of 68 put him in third place at 8-under par, and he finished tied for 16th and winner of the Silver Cup trophy for being the low amateur.

It was the highest spot for an amateur heading into the weekend at Augusta National since Ken Venturi sat at 9-under after two rounds in 1956.

What are the odds that Bennett, a fifth-year senior from Madisonville, Texas, and the 122nd U.S. Amateur champion in 2022, can turn his Masters performance into a successful pro career?, home to the best coverage of Texas sports betting, utilized to compile the statistics of all the Masters low amateurs who have made the cut in their respective tournaments since 2000.

Fourteen low amateurs have made the cut since then, so we looked at how they have panned out in the rest of their career to allow us to project how Bennett might play.

Unfortunately for state bettors who may have wanted to back Bennett’s big weekend, there are no legal Texas sports betting apps.

How Do Masters Low Amateurs Perform in the Future?

Currently on PGA/LIV Tour Combined PGA/LIV Wins Avg. Career Appearances in Majors Combined Major Wins
7 of 14 (50%)31 (2.2)12.7 per golfer2 (0.14 per golfer)
Stats based on Masters low amateur golfers who have made the cut since 2000.

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Recent Amateurs Experiencing Pro Success

Half of those 14 are currently on either the PGA or LIV tours, and they’ve combined for 31 tour victories. Since 2000, the only low amateur to eventually win the Masters has been Hideki Matsuyama.

Matsuyama, Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau have had the best careers out of the 14, as all three have eight PGA Tour victories. That’s 24 out of the 31 total wins.

Cantlay, low amateur in 2012, just finished the Masters tied for 14th at 3-under par, one stroke ahead of Bennett, and Matsuyama was in the group of seven golfers tied with Bennett for 16th.

Cantlay, who like Bennett stands just 5-foot-10, hasn’t won a major, but he was the 2021 FedEx Cup champion and the 2021 PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Matsuyama, the first Japanese golfer to win a major, was the low amateur in 2011 and then he won the Masters 10 years later in 2021. He has a total of 17 worldwide victories, with seven as a pro in Japan and two World Golf Championships victories. He won his first Japanese Tour event as an amateur.

DeChambeau, the low amateur in 2016, won the 2020 U.S. Open, and he’s currently playing on the LIV Tour and not eligible for PGA Tour events.

Ryan Moore, the 2005 low amateur, would be the next biggest winner with five PGA Tour victories, but he hasn’t won since the 2016 John Deere Classic.

If you reach back into the 1990s, you’ll find some of golf’s most prestigious names who were once low amateurs in the Masters with Tiger Woods (1995), Phil Mickelson (1991) and Sergio Garcia (1999).

The low amateur list also includes golfing royalty with Jack Nicklaus (1960) and Ben Crenshaw (1972 and 1973).

Bennett has the Southeastern Conference championships next up on the Texas A&M schedule. The three-round event will be at Sea Island Golf Course in St. Simons Island, Ga., from April 19-21.

After that, he’ll hope to advance to the NCAA Regional rounds from May 15-17 and the NCAA Championships from May 26-31. He was 10th at the 2022 NCAA Championships.

Next up will be deciding when and where to begin his professional career so he can start chasing Matsuyama, Cantlay and DeChambeau.

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Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.

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