Grant Hirschman heads into the Southeastern Amateur after an impressive freshman season at Oklahoma.
The Southeast Amateur’s defending champion finished in a tie for first place at the Liberty Spring Invitational, which was played April 10-11 at Amherst, Va., on the Poplar Grove Golf Course.
Hirschman also had four other top-10 finishes and eight other top-20s.
“My freshman year was a learning process for sure,” Hirschman said “I had a lot of good finishes throughout the season, but I was hoping to have finished the year off better.”
Hirschman and the Sooners didn’t play well in the NCAA Championships earlier this month. After winning a regional and being seeded 12th, Oklahoma finished 28th in the national tournament, far removed from the top eight who advanced to the match play portion.
Hirschman tied for 113th after opening the NCAAs with an 81.
“Our NCAA tournament result was a big letdown because we felt very confident going in after coming off of a regional victory that we won so decisively,” Hirschman said.
Hirschman has taken time off since the NCAA tournament. He will tee it up Wednesday in the first round of the Southeastern Amateur at the Country Club of Columbus.
“I have just been letting my body recover from the season and getting ready for my summer events,” Hirschman said.
Hirschman won last year’s Southeastern Amateur in a playoff over Shad Tuten.
“My win at the 2014 Southeastern Amateur meant a lot to me,” he said. “It was an important accomplishment for me to get a big amateur win under my belt.”
Notes: The field of 102 will be filled Tuesday with the final three berths at stake in an 18-hole qualifier. Fifty-four players are playing in the qualifier, which starts at 8:15 a.m. Hirschman is the only previous champion in the field. There are 10 international players in the field, including five from Australia and one each from Trinidad, Chile, Norway, South Africa and New Zealand. There are 18 states represented with Georgia leading the way with 33, including eight from Columbus. Florida is second with 20.