Hamblin competes at Publinks Tournament

ISU men's golfer Rodney Hamblin recently competed in the U.S. Amateur Publinks tournament at the Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon, Ohio.


The ISU junior was tied for the No. 2 seed heading into Wednesday, but was eliminated after losing his first round match to Clay Odgen, the eventual Publinks champion.


"I played really good in the qualifying round," Hamblin said. "It didn't end the way I wanted it to end but it was a lot of fun."


Also competing in the Publinks tournament was female golf phenom, Michelle Wie, whom Odgen beat in the quarterfinals.


"I watched her play her first nine holes," Hamblin said. "She's pretty impressive; she had a pretty big gallery following her about 2,000 or 3,000 people. It was amazing to watch."


The 15-year old Wie, was the first female to qualify for a men's U.S. Golf Association Championship.


Some male golfers vocally resented Wie participating in the tournament; Hamblin said he doesn't feel that way.


"I don't have a problem with her being there, because she qualified just the same as anybody so you can't deny her anything there," Hamblin said.


It wasn't Hamblin's first trip to the U.S. Amateur Publinks; he was an alternate last summer. Each state has a qualifying tournament and the St. Paul native qualified in Minnesota.


"Playing in the qualifying round I knew I could get to the tournament this year," Hamblin said. "I've been playing pretty good."


Few golf tournaments have match play and Hamblin said it's a different form of golf.


"There's more pressure on each round," Hamblin said. "Most tournaments are four rounds against the whole field. [In match play] you only play one around against one person, so it puts a lot of pressure on that round."


Before Hamblin returns to Ames for the fall golf season he has a few more tournaments to play in, including the Minnesota State Amateur and the Minnesota State Open. He said his play the Publinks tournament was a self-esteem builder.


"I'll take this experience and just have the confidence to play the rest of my tournaments the same way as I did this one," he said.

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