So far Devon Purser is the only player to break par among the first-round early wave at the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship being played today at windy Bandon Trails. The 18-year-old from Clearfield, Utah, (30 miles north of Salt Lake City) carded a 1-under 69, a remarkable score considering the challenging conditions.
About an hour after the first group started on Monday, the winds picked up and Purser said when they reached the first tee (he started on No. 10) the gusts were as high as 30 mph. The winds also came from the south today, a change from the two official practice rounds when players had the prevailing north wind.
Nevertheless, Purser said he could have posted a 29 on his first nine had a couple of 6-footers dropped.
"After the first nine, I was trying to take it deep," said Purser, who will play for Brigham Young University in the fall. "And then it got really windy."
Purser, who competed in last year's U.S. Junior Amateur and advanced to the round of 16, certainly is in excellent position to make the match-play cut. On Tuesday, the field moves over to Old Macdonald.
Purser said he plays a links-style course back in Utah, but it's nothing like the courses he's seen this week at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
For one thing, he's done a lot of putting from off the green.
"I don’t know how many players like putting from off the green, but I don’t mind it all," he said. "So I think it’s kind of a good thing for me to be able to putt from 20 yards off the green. I hit a lot of greens [today]. And I had a couple of two-putts from like 50 feet."
Purser put the finishing touches on his round by holing an 18-footer for birdie at the par-5 ninth.
"I shot three under on the first nine (inward nine)," he said, "so I had a couple of credits in the bank when it started getting windy." -- David Shefter