Westside’s Jackson Benge qualifies for U.S. Junior Amateur Championship

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Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - On June 14th, Westside golfer Jackson Benge shot 8 under for a score of 64 at the Nebraska U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier, punching his ticket to the Junior Amateur championship. The next best score, 72, came from former Warrior and soon-to-be Bluejay Kolby Brown.

“The US Junior Amateur is like the Holy Grail of Junior golf. It’s like the biggest Junior golf tournament, I think,” said Benge. “I’ve always dreamed of playing in it and it’s at a very special venue, Bandon Dunes. So, I mean I’m so excited. I’m going up with one of my best friends too, so we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

On June 15th Benge woke to his phone blowing up with calls from college coaches, including Nebraska.

“We talked for probably around an hour and they offered me on the phone. It was a good day. I talked to Creighton, North Texas, UTEP, Iowa. It was a good day. It was fun,” said Benge.

Benge won’t be the first in his family to golf in college. His mom golfed for the Huskers.

“My grandpa got my mom into it. And so my grandpa got me into it too. And my mom and my grandpa, my whole family has been very supportive of everything. They’ve been bringing me out here since I could even hold a club.”

The rising junior clinched a trip to Bandon Dunes with nine birdies at Lochland Country Club. When asked how he did it, this is what Benge said: “I wouldn’t say I’m really good at anything. I’m just pretty good at everything. I just figured my way out-- figured out how to put a score together I guess, so yeah.”

Benge begins his quest for a U.S. Junior Amateur title July 25th. There will be two rounds of stroke play and then the field of 264 golfers will be whittled down to 64 for match play. A champion will be crowned Saturday, July 30th.

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