There are moments in sports when someone pulls off a feat they weren't expecting, and then there is Jeff Wilson at the 2010 U.S. Amateur. In a sport that has been handed over to the youth, with their long drives and carefree putting strokes, Wilson, 47, is the story at the U.S. Amateur after recording not only the second-lowest round ever in the event, but also the lowest round of his career.
On Monday, playing the "shorter" Home Course at Chambers Bay (shorter in quotes because it still plays 7,420 yards), Wilson posted a 10-under 62 to take the lead at the Amateur by seven shots. Nobody else in the field on the first day broke 68, but Wilson rode a hot putter and an eagle-eagle finish in his round to post the second-lowest score in the 110-year history of this event.
So who is this Kenny Perry wannabe?
Well, the Fairfield, Calif., native owns a car dealership, but that doesn't stop him from his golf. He has been a medalist in three Mid-Amateurs and one U.S. Amateur, and has played in four U.S. Opens over his career.
How did he finish his round eagle-eagle on Monday? Nothing that spectacular, except a 3-wood on the par-5 eighth hole that he knocked to 8 feet, and then a holed wedge on the ninth from 132 yards.
It's true that the amateur has lost a little luster the last few years. Too many great players are jumping to the professional ranks as teenagers, giving up on this event for the money, and it'll be centuries before we see someone do what Tiger Woods did at this tournament in the '90s, if ever.
That said, it was going to take a story like this to get people buzzing about the Amateur again. Hopefully, Wilson can manage the 7,742-yard golf course that is Chambers Bay on Tuesday, make it to match play and take it to a few of these whippersnappers. Even if he doesn't, he will always have this 62 to chat about when trying to push a couple of cars to some people in Fairfield.