Louis Dobbelaar hasn’t competed in a major event in the U.S. since the AJGA’s Junior Players Championship in 2019. Since then, the Australian has been dominating Down Under with his biggest win of 2021 coming at the Australian Men’s Amateur Championship in February.
Despite a start-and-stop week at the Dogwood Invitational because of inclement weather, no one could catch Dobbelaar at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta. Now, the 19-year-old has a major U.S. amateur title under his belt.
Dobbelaar opened the week with rounds of 68-64 and was tied with compatriot Josh Edgar at the halfway point. The third round was called because of extensive rain, so Dobbelaar was one of many players who had to finish that round on Saturday morning before rolling into the final round.
He made only two bogeys and one double through 54 holes but stumbled to the finish in the final round with bogeys at Nos. 16 and 18. Dobbelaar’s lead was substantial, though, and he still finished two shots ahead of Nicolas Cassidy and Garrett Rank with his 18-under total.
Scores were low across the board this week, with Ross Steelman setting the pace early thanks to an opening 10-under 62. (Who can forget that the course record at Druid Hills was set in 2019, the last time the Dogwood was played when Davidson player Alex Ross fired an unconscious 57.)
Cassidy matched Steelman’s 62 in the final round to gain ground on the leaders.
Connor Howe, who will be a teammate of Steelman’s next year at Georgia Tech, had a 61 in the second round, too.
The Dogwood marks the unofficial start to the summer amateur season and is a can’t-miss for many players. Next week, several players will head north to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to compete in the Sunnehanna Amateur.