NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For Lipscomb senior golfer Dawson Armstrong summer 2017 will be remembered by him as a season to grow on. Coming off a top-20 finish at the NCAA Division I Championships, the NCAA Regional medalist and the ASUN Conference Champion, he headed into the middle months of the year with some momentum from the spring, but he was unable to secure another breakout performance that he was hopeful for like the 2015 Western Amateur championship.
“The summer was extremely consistent for me with the exception of a few rounds,” said Armstrong. “I didn't ever really have my best stuff. I played well enough for most of the summer to be kind of in the mix, but overall it was good. I learned a lot, including that I need to definitely hit the ball better in order to score better and that's something that I'm going to work on a lot this fall.”
The highlight of the summer was easily his performance in the 117th USGA U.S. Amateur hosted in Los Angeles at the Bel Air and Riviera Country Clubs. Armstrong opened with a strong 68 that propelled him into match play where he downed Andy Ogletree, Robert MacIntyre and Cheng Jin to advance to the quarterfinal round. That setup a meeting with Mark Lawrence in the quarterfinals and despite a stomach illness the night before and leading into the round, Armstrong continued on with a solid effort falling 3 and 2 to Lawrence. Despite the ailment, he enjoyed the chance to play on the stage with some of the best golfers in the world.
“It was a really fun experience and I was happy to be there. It was great getting to catch up with a lot of guys that I hadn't seen in a while. I'm not disappointed that I lost at all. I'm disappointed by the fact that I got sick.
“Coming out of the week, I was sick to my stomach figuratively, that I got sick to my stomach literally speaking. That's just something I have to swallow and move on. It was definitely one of the most memorable weeks that I've had in my golf career with how everything turned out. It was a great experience with my family and having my brother (Davis) on the bag.“
His strong play over the last year was enough to put the veteran collegian in contention for the prestigious Walker Cup Team but the committee felt his resume was not quite strong enough naming Armstrong the second alternate for the event that will be played Sept. 9-10. Armstrong plans to use the snub as a strong motivation heading into his final season as a Bison.
“I was disappointed about not being selected but it's not going to slow me down. It's going to speed me up. I'm going to work really hard and my goal this coming season is to undoubtedly be the best player in college golf. I don't even want it to be up for debate. My goal is to win every single tournament. It's a lofty goal, but I think I can do it.”
Armstrong and his fellow Bisons get fall action underway Sept. 16-18 in the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
2017 Summer Results
64th Sunnehanna Amateur – T-13th
56th Northeast Amateur – T-18th
2017 Dogwood Invitational – T-3rd
51st Pacific Coast Amateur Championship – T 14th
115th Western Amateur Championship – T 14th (Lost in first round of match play to eventual winner Norman Xiong)
117th USGA U.S. Amateur – T-8th (Advanced to quarterfinals)