No Sweat: Cook Into Mid-Amateur Semis


By Stuart Hall
September 21, 2011

Richmond, Texas — Fatigued?

“No, fatigue, just sore feet,” said Kenny Cook after he defeated Tony Behrstock, 3 and 2, in a quarterfinal match at the 31st U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Wednesday morning at Shadow Hawk Golf Club.

The win was Cook’s fourth of the week following two rounds of stroke play. All totaled he has played 98 holes in five days. Yet Cook has helped himself mentally.

He shot 2-under 142 in stroke play, tying for fifth, and was never in serious danger of missing out on match play. En route to Wednesday afternoon’s semifinal against John Engler, of Augusta, Ga., the 31-year-old Cook had played just 67 holes, five more than his final-four foe.

But Cook also has trailed for only one hole, that being after the first hole in his 2-and-1 win over Matthew Smith in Tuesday afternoon’s third round.

“I feel like I’ve got the tools to get up early and, if not, I can play from behind,” he said.

Against Behrstock, of Los Angeles, Calif., Cook wrangled control of the match with a birdie on the par-3, 210-yard fourth hole and a par on the 441-yard, par-4 fifth. He led 2 up until Behrstock made a 10-foot birdie on the 429-yard, par-4 10th.. 

Cook won the 216-yard, par-3 11th with a par and 562-yard, par-5 14th with a birdie to go 3 up. He closed the match by halving the 460-yard, par-4 16th.

“It was back and forth there for a while until I made the birdie putt on four,” said the Noblesville, Ind., resident. “Then I settled down a little. I didn’t really pay much attention to what he did, just tried to play my game.

“If I can get my putting back like I did in the second round, I think I will be playing my best.

Nervous?

“No, it’s just golf. I’ve got to go out and play the course. I’m not really concerned with who I am playing or where I am on the course — the rough or the fairway,” said Cook, who turned professional for seven months after graduating from Ball State University in 2003 and then filed for amateur reinstatement.

Hot?

“Yeah, the biggest thing is perspiration,” said Cook after showering and changing clothes prior to his semifinal match. “I had to have someone come in after nine holes just to get me some more dry towels.”

Cook may not win this week, but he will have friendly bragging rights when he gets home. His wife, Lisa, qualified for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, which is being played concurrently this week at Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach, Va. Lisa Cook tied for 82nd in stroke play and failed to qualify for match play in her first USGA championship appearance.

“I’m not sure she got the best draw with the weather and everything,” said Cook of the Women’s Mid-Amateur that was plagued by several weather delays. “There might have been a case of some nerves as well.”

Kenny Cook is making his fourth USGA championship appearance, his best finish being at this championship two years ago at Kiawah Island Resort when he reached the second round of match play.

But if perspiration is the only thing holding Cook back this week, it may well turn out to be his best.  

Stuart Hall is a North Carolina-based freelance writer whose work has appeared previously on USGA championship websites.  

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image