Palo Alto Brothers Ahmed and Hussain Ali Relish U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Experience
May 3, 2015
Most amateurs feel ansty on the first tee but then they quickly settle in.
Palo Alto brothers Ahmed and Hussain Ali were still trembling on the second and even third tee boxes during Saturday’s first round of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at the Olympic Club.
That can happen when you’re competing in a USGA championship, and you’re just 15 years old.
The youngest player in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball field, Ahmed is still just a freshman at Palo Alto High. As a member of the NCAA Division-II men’s golf team at Dominican College, Hussain, 19, has some tournament experience. But he’s never taken aim at a national championship.
Both were making their USGA debuts.
“They were really nervous the first few holes on Saturday. They told me their hands were shaking,” said Azmat Ali, the two boys’ father, who along with his wife Naazneen is caddying for the duo. “Then they finally settled down and played normal golf.”
Despite the jitters, the Olympic Club is familiar turf to Ahmed. He has a junior membership at the private club.
“The practice facilities on the Peninsula are pretty limited. For Ahmed to just be able to come here and hit balls on the range is great,” Azmat said.
For Ahmet, the last few days have been pretty hectic. On Friday, he came out to the club to get in a few practice holes. Afterwards, he immediately hopped back in the family car to get back to school.
“I’m really thankful to the Olympic Club. And to be here now playing with my brother makes it even better,” Ahmed said. “It’s fun to come out here and test my game and see where it’s at.”
The two, who mainly play at Palo Alto Municipal GC, made it into the championship after advancing through a qualifier at Pasatiempo GC in Santa Cruz.
On Sunday, they shot a second round 1-over 71 for a two-day total of 4-over 144. They’d miss the cut for match play, but won’t be forgetting the experience anytime soon.
“This has been pretty awesome. We’ve never had this type of attention before,” Hussain said. “I’ll always remember it.”