Jamison Friedman certainly had the shortest distance to travel to this year’s Mid-Amateur – he resides in nearby Southampton. After opening with a 1-over 73 at The Bridge Saturday, Friedman was quick to credit two things – his caddie (George Noonan) and local knowledge, particularly when it came to dealing with the win. With steady winds throughout the day, the weather was a topic of conversation for many players.
“I don’t care where you’re from, the wind is always an issue,” said Friedman, who has played The Bridge previously. “Especially today, because it was really blowing. But because I know the course and my caddie is real familiar with the place, and I have played on Eastern Long Island for 20 years, I’ve been able to gradually get my ball lower when I need to.”
The first-round 1 over left the 45-year-old Friedman four strokes off the leader but in good position heading into his second round, which he’ll play Sunday morning at Atlantic Golf Club. Despite missing two short birdie putts, Friedman was pleased.
“With 73, I’m happy. If you had told me before I came out there that I was going to shoot a 73, I would have taken it with these conditions today.”
This is the first USGA championship for Friedman, a seven-time club champion at his home course, Southampton Golf Club. He’s tried to qualify for the Open but this was his first attempt to play in the Mid-Amateur.
“I don’t usually sign up for The Mid-Am because it’s a tough time of year for me to do it – the kids back in school and so forth,” he said. “But with it being local it was just a no-brainer. This is just too much fun.”
Fun indeed – he left the ninth green, the last hole of his round, to applause from a small gallery of friends.