The U.S. Junior Amateur in Texas wasn’t just another golf tournament for local standout Colin Bowles.
Bowles, who resides in Oceana, played the No. 2 junior in the world, coped with 100 degree temperatures and called the tourney a “jaw dropping” experience.
He advanced from the two first rounds of stroke play with a three-over 147. He shot a two-over 74 on the first day and followed that with one-over 73.
In match play, he faced Andy Zhang of China in the round of 64. Zhang eventually won the tight match 2-up.
“He was No. 2 in the world in the junior rankings,” Bowles pointed out. “He played in the U.S. Open when he was 14, the youngest ever to play in the U.S. Open.”
Zhang is currently 16.
“I got up on him on the first hole and took a deep breath and relaxed,” Bowles noted. “He got it back on the third hole. It went back and forth, I was up one, he was up one. I was up one going to the 15th hole. He made a long putt, and that was kind of the turning point of the match.
“I learned a lot about how to play that kind of course and how to strategize in match play,” he commented.
The tournament was played at The Club at Carlton Woods at The Woodlands, Tex., about 30 miles from Houston.
“The course was in great shape, everything looked so good,” Bowles observed. “You were scared to take a divot out of the fairway.
“It was long and had fast greens and a lot of water lining the fairways and some water out of bounds,” he noted.
It was his first time in Texas.
Weather was hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 100.
“It took a while to get used to the heat and humidity,” said Bowles. “The humidity was so high it was hard to breathe.”
“Overall, I’m pretty happy with how I played,” he commented. “I don’t think I played my best. I had some trouble around the greens if I missed a green.
“It was a good experience,” he added.
Bowles is playing this week in an AGJA event in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
After that he will play in a national tourney, the Big I, in Bridgeport.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.