'I Feel Like I Belong' - Masters Low Am Sam Bennett Set For Another Major Weekend

The reigning US Amateur champion opens his 2023 US Open account with an impressive 67

Sam Bennett US Open LA
The fearless Sam Bennett in round one action of the 2023 US Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Bennett is showing no signs of being overawed on the professional stage, with the reigning US Amateur champion placed in the top ten following an impressive three-under-par 67 on day one of the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club.

The 23-year-old only recently turned professional, and he’s enjoying a fast start to his pro career. The Texas native shot back-to-back 68s in the first two rounds of The Masters in April, the lowest by an amateur since 1956, before finishing T16, which earned him low amateur honors for the week.

The only blemish so far is a final-round 84 at the Memorial, although he responded well to that minor setback with a top-20 finish at the RBC Canadian Open a week later.

So coming into this week’s US Open, Bennett was feeling full of confidence – and it showed, as he reeled off six birdies before a couple of bogeys on the last two holes took the shine off what was still a very good day.

“I knew the front nine was gettable and I saw there was some low ones out there, so I knew there was birdies to be had if you teed it in play,” he said, before describing his finish as “pretty frustrating.”

Bennett is showing a lot of confidence off the course, too, as well as a calm demeanour. “I'm comfortable. There's no nerves,” he added. “I feel like I belong. Played the weekend at RBC, at Memorial, so that was good. I feel like I belong and I'm comfortable on this stage.”

More and more players, it seems, are looking capable of winning as soon as they turn professional and come onto the PGA Tour, and Bennett is no exception. He’s well aware that the crowds are bigger, although he says, “the hole is still the same size.”

Sam Bennett 2023 Masters

Sam Bennett was hugely impressive at this year's Masters 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He’s also happy to go about his business the same way he always has – that’s without too much fussing over numbers and without much focus on the technical aspects of the game. His philosophy? “Just see a shot and hit it.”

“I like wedge numbers. They're okay,” he explained. “But I don't know, I'm just not numbers-based or anything. I'm swinging the best when I'm not thinking of nothing. That's when I tend to play good under some pressures because I'm not thinking of anything and I just let my body take over.”

Whether he’s quite ready to win a Major remains to be seen, but such an attitude will no doubt stand him in very good stead over the course of what could well be a very long and successful pro career. 

Michael Weston
Contributing editor

Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.