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Learned the game from his father "as soon as I could walk." Four-time All-America (two-time first team) at UNLV and 2005 collegiate player of the year. Three-time Ben Hogan Award finalist and 2005 Hogan Award winner and Jack Nicklaus collegiate player of the year. 2005 Golfstat Cup low collegiate scoring average. In 2004, won the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Public Links, NCAA Championship, Western Amateur and Sahalee Players Championship. Captured the U.S. Amateur 2 up over Luke List at Winged Foot and won his second U.S. Amateur Public Links title 6 and 5 over Dayton Rose at Rush Creek GC in Minnesota. A member of the 2004 U.S. World Amateur team, he was low individual at the competition. Also received a Sponsor Exemption into the 2004 Chrysler Classic of Greensboro and finished T24 at 7-under par. Was T12, four strokes out of the lead, after 36 holes. Also won the 2002 U.S. Amateur Public Links, beating Lee Williamson 10 & 9. Another prominent USGA finish he was runner-up in the 2000 Junior Amateur, losing to Matthew Rosenfeld 3 & 2. Low amateur in the 2005 Masters Tournament, finishing T13 at 1-under par, thereby earning an invitation to the 2006 Masters via a top-16 finish. His 287 total was the lowest for an amateur in the Masters since Lindy Miller shot 286 in 1978. As reigning U.S. Amateur champion, earned exemption into U.S. Open at Pinehurst and British Open at St. Andrews. Played in U.S. Open (T57). Following week, turned professional at the Barclays Classic, where he finished T51. Finished T2 at the Bell Canadian Open, one stroke behind Mark Calcavecchia. Only player in field to post four rounds at par or better on the par-70 Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, British Columbia. His $440,000 payday pushed him into the Special Temporary Member category with the ability to earn unlimited sponsor exemptions for remainder of year. Pushed season non-member earnings to $598,250 (equal to No. 120 on PGA TOUR Money List) with T16 finish at the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas. Two off the lead through 36 holes after opening 67-63, but fell from contention with a third-round 74. Closed with a 4-under 68 and tied for 13th at the FUNAI Classic at Walt Disney World Resort, earning $88,000. That placed him the equivalent of 113th on the PGA TOUR money list, making him the first player since Tiger Woods in 1996 to go from college to the PGA Tour in the same season without going to Q School. The only other players to do that since 1980 were Gary Hallberg, Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard. As a non-member, needed to collect more that the 125th place finisher on the 2005 PGA TOUR Money List in order to earn his card for the 2006 season. He finished the equivalent of 113th.
2005 PGA Tour Summary
Tournaments entered - 14; Rounds Played - 48; in money - 10; top -10 Finishes - 1; money $686,249.80 Rank (124 - unofficial); Best finish: T-2 at the Bell Canadian Open.