Colin Prater, 28, and Pat Grady, 37 — 2 former CGA Players of the Year — qualify at Collindale for U.S. Amateur that will be played in Colorado next month
By Gary Baines – 7/25/2023
Colin Prater probably won’t soon forget the first time he qualified for the U.S. Amateur — especially given what’s taken place in the last couple of months.
The Colorado Springs resident, then a golfer at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, earned one of three available berths in 2016 at a qualifier at Columbine Country Club. The other two who advanced that day were medalist Tristan Rohrbaugh and a guy named Wyndham Clark, who that year would play in his fifth and final U.S. Amateur.
And yes, that’s the same Wyndham Clark who won the U.S. Open last month, and a second PGA Tour title this year.
This time around for Prater at U.S. Amateur qualifying might be just as memorable, but for a completely different reason. With the U.S. Am being held in Colorado — Cherry Hills Country Club and Colorado Golf Club are hosting Aug. 14-20 — Prater earned medalist honors on Tuesday in the third and final Colorado-based qualifier for the event.
The 28-year-old high school teacher posted scores of 66-68 for an 8-under-par 134 total, winning the qualifier at Collindale Golf Course in Fort Collins by two strokes. This year will mark Prater’s third U.S. Amateur.
Joining him in advancing was another mid-am, 37-year-old accountant Pat Grady of Westminster, a former pro who regained his amateur status last year. Grady, a former golf standout at CU, went 69-67 then prevailed in a playoff against Lucas Howell of Colorado Springs that lasted one hole.
On that extra hole, Grady hit the green on the par-5 10th hole in two (3-wood, 8-iron), then just missed a 10-foot eagle attempt, making birdie. Howell, who bogeyed his final hole in regulation (as did Grady), failed to convert his 11-foot birdie try. That gave Grady his first berth in the U.S. Am.
Prater and Grady became the sixth and seventh Colorado residents to qualify for next month’s U.S. Amateur — the others being Nick Nosewicz of Aurora, Jack Castiglia of Lakewood, Connor Jones of Westminster (a Colorado State University golfer), Blake Trimble of Denver and Gavin Hagstrom of Fort Collins (a former CSU golfer who’s transferring to Minnesota).
In addition, CU golfer Dylan McDermott and future CU players Brandon Knight and Parker Paxton have also qualified.
On Tuesday, Prater, winner of two CGA Amateurs and one CGA Match Play, made 11 birdies and three bogeys in 36 holes. Prater was the CGA Player of the Year in 2020.
Grady, another former CGA POY (he earned the honor in 2007 and ’08), chalked up 11 birdies on Tuesday, adding three bogeys and a double bogey.
Prater and Grady finished first and third, respectively, at last fall’s CGA Mid-Amateur Championship. Both players are scheduled to be in the field for the CGA Amateur that runs Thursday through Sunday at RainDance National in Windsor.
For all the scores from Tuesday’s U.S. Amateur qualifier at Collindale, CLICK HERE.
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com