Amateur Sam Bennett hits clubhouse in second place after 36 holes

Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Network

Cross sticking around for the weekend at The Masters off the list of goals for amateur Sam Bennett.

Bennett entered the clubhouse Friday afternoon second on the leaderboard following his morning round and signed his scorecard at 8-under through 36 holes, trailing only four-time major champion Brooks Koepka.

“Before the week, people were telling me they hope I finish low amateur. I’m like, ‘That’s it? That’s only seven guys. There’s a green jacket on the line,’ ” Bennett said following his Friday round.

When he exited for the day, the on-course billboard-style scoreboard nearby showed the Texas A&M senior one shot back and ahead of World No. 3 Jon Rahm, though the Spaniard was 13 holes behind Bennett.

Bennett played with 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler on Thursday, and left a lasting impression with his poise and focus.

“Sam’s a tremendous player,” Scheffler said. “I know how nervous he must have felt on the first tee being an amateur. I’m really happy for him.”

Bennett was 4-under in both rounds at Augusta National.

On Friday, Bennett birdied the first again.

He used back-to-back birdies on No. 8 and No. 9 to jump from fifth place. He carded a birdie at the par-5 13th hole thanks to an approach that left him a short putt for second place. That’s a position only two other amateurs have held in the history of the tournament. The most recent occurrence was 1958.

“I was able to stack shots and play a really steady round,” said Bennett, who also birdied the par-4 No. 14. “Just kind of stress-free golf.”

Bennett started Thursday birdie-eagle and said he’s geared on keeping a simple approach to “keep it straight.” Bennett was referring to playing the ball in the fairway and maximizing scoring chances on his second shot.

–Field Level Media

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