OCHS grad qualifies for U.S. Amateur Championship

August 3, 2023 | 12:05 am

Updated August 2, 2023 | 10:22 pm

Hayden Warren | Photo provided

For Hayden Warren, golf is more than just a sport. It represents a way to spend time with his brothers and accomplish goals he never thought were possible. The hard work has paid off for Warren, who recently qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship. 

The U.S. Amateur is the leading annual golf tournament in the country for amateur golfers. It will be played at Cherry Hills C.C & Colorado Golf Club August 14-20. NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning has been named the honorary chairman this year.

Warren, a sophomore at Western Kentucky University, began playing golf in 5th grade. He was drawn to the game after watching his brother Stephen, who was in 7th grade at the time.

“He started playing for Owensboro Catholic High School when he was in 7th grade,” Warren said. “I started playing just for fun so I could play with him.”

Their journey took them both to Western Kentucky University, where the brothers are on the golf team together. 

“It’s pretty cool playing with your brother,” Warren said. “We have been working hard practicing and playing together in tournaments.”

When playing in a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur, Warren said he “had a good feeling that my score was going to be enough to qualify.”

Walking off the last green, he was thrilled with his performance.

“My brother was super happy for me, too. He was doing an internship in Charleston and when I finished the round, he was on the phone with me,” Warren said. 

Adding to the excitement of the qualifier, Warren’s 17-year-old brother Nolan caddied for him.

“That was pretty special for me,” Warren said. 

Warren is the first player from WKU since 2012 to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. Looking ahead, Warren said he wants to continue to perform well and keep growing.

“My goal is to get as good as I can and to do my best at every tournament. I want to get my education from Western Kentucky University and take it one day at a time,” he said.

As far as what fuels his passion, Warren enjoys many aspects of his athletic career.

“I love the competitiveness of the sport. It gives me something to focus on. I get to meet people, travel places, and make many new friends through school and golf,” Warren said. 

Although the brothers are first-generation golfers, their dad played college football and they all appreciate the hard work that goes into sports at the collegiate level.

“Stephen got into golf because a pro from Owensboro, John Augenstein, recruited him,” Warren said. “I wanted to do what Stephen was doing, and it was a ripple effect from there.”

August 3, 2023 | 12:05 am

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