That final amateur event in the career of Refioglu will be the U.S. Amateur. The tournament gets underway Monday at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.
Refioglu competed in his first U.S. Amateur last year and believes the experience will help him be more successful this time around.
“Competing in last year’s tournament was definitely helpful,” Refioglu said. “The main thing I took away is that my game is certainly good enough to compete with the best. I feel like I’ve grown a lot this past year so I’m ready to go.”
Refioglu’s mentality this year is much different.
“I’m much more laid-back this year,” said the Foster City native, who attended Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton. “I’m planning on turning pro after this tournament, so this is a nice way to end my amateur career. My biggest goal is to make match-play so I have a chance to win the tournament. I just want to have fun and compete.”
Last year at Brookline Country Club, Refioglu followed up a 1-over-par 71 in the first round with a 77, missing qualifying for match play by four shots.
The ups and downs of Refioglu’s St. Mary’s College career has been is big reason why he’s on the verge of becoming a pro.
“After a solid freshman year where I got some much-needed experience, I expected to play a lot in my sophomore year,” Refioglu said. “I ended up playing in only one event the entire year so it was eye-opening. I knew I had to work really hard so I could be in the starting lineup my junior year and that’s exactly what I did.”
Refioglu and the Gales made it to the NCAA Championships for the second time in school history that year. He was also the team’s top finisher at the NCAA Championships, so the hard work was paying off.
“I felt like I had things figured out, but then I had a disappointing senior year,” the St. Mary’s graduate said. “It was tough, but it taught me that I had to make certain changes and work even harder to get to the next level. All in all I would say I had a solid college career.”
WHEN: Monday-Aug. 17
WHERE: Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek, Ga.
SCHEDULE: Stroke-play seeding rounds, Monday-Tuesday; first round of match play, Wednesday; second and third rounds of match play, Thursday; match-play quarterfinals, Aug. 15; match-play semifinals, Aug. 16; match-play championship, Aug. 17
TV: Wednesday, 1-3 p.m., Golf Channel; Thursday, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Golf Channel; Aug. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Golf Channel; Aug. 16, 1-3 p.m., KNTV (Ch. 11); Aug. 17, 1-3 p.m., KNTV (Ch. 11)