CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — He was among the best as an amateur, winning a prestigious national title and moving onto the PGA Tour. While he never thought it was going to be easy, making it tougher was seeing so many peers from his college days collecting trophies as he wondered when, if ever, his turn would come.
So there was great satisfaction, and a small measure of relief, when former NCAA champion Max Homa won at Quail Hollow.
Mark O’Meara fits the same description.
O’Meara won the 1979 U.S. Amateur over John Cook, who won the previous year over Scott Hoch. They were part of a strong generation of young stars that included Hal Sutton (who won the 1980 U.S. Amateur), Gary Hallberg and Payne Stewart.
All of them won within a few years on the PGA Tour.
O’Meara, now in the World Golf Hall of Fame, didn’t win until his 129th start, late in his fourth year.
“You’re happy for your buddy to get the win, but it’s like, ‘Hey, I need to do this.’ It pushes everybody,” O’Meara said Tuesday. “That was a driving force. Just because you’re a top amateur, top college player, there’s no guarantee it’s going to carry…