Amateur Sam Bennett of the United States reacts on the 18th green during the second round of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 07, 2023 in Augusta, Georgia.

For amateur golfer Sam Bennett, it has been an absolutely stunning first two rounds of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National.

Bennett is 23 years old and won the 2022 U.S. Amateur, giving him the invitation to the Masters. He got to open up playing the first two rounds with the defending champion Scottie Scheffler.

So, what’s happened the last two days is nothing short of remarkable. Bennett opened with back-to-back 4-under 68 rounds, and is in sole possession of second place (as of Friday afternoon anyway).

Bennett had no blemishes on his card in the first round. He birdied 1 and 6, and eagled 2. Everything else was pars. In the second round, he did have his first bogey, on 4, but had birdies on 1, 8, 9, 13 and 14.

He also managed to save a few pars, playing like a savvy veteran, not like an Augusta National first-timer. His playing partner Scheffler didn’t hold up as well, shooting his worst-ever round at the Masters, with a 75.

According to the PGA Tour, his 8-under 136 is the second-lowest 36 hole score for an amateur EVER at that Masters. Ken Venturi’s 9-under 135 in 1956 was the best.

Sam Bennett – the Texas A&M student – clearly has a lot of momentum for what could be a great career ahead of him. But for now, he’s making the most of his amateur moment, and in contention at the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National.

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.

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