19-year-old amateur golfer Marco Nieto from Eynon recently qualified for the 117th US amateur golf championships in Pacific Palisades California at the Riviera Country Club.
Nieto a 2016 Scranton Prep graduate fired a 72 and 67 at the Colonial Golf and Tennis Club in Harrisburg on July 19th to earn the 3rd and final qualifying spot.
"I came in and there we're 20 more groups left and the weather started getting bad, but I sat there shaken for an hour plus and I saw the last score come in. It was nerve-wracking because the score that had to come in was a 72 had to shoot 67 to steal the spot or tie the spot and he came in with a 68, I ended up taking it by one," said Marco.
Nieto spent the last year in Florida training trying to improve his game. And with a month in between tournaments he turns to Glenmaura National Golf Club for practice.
"It's a lot of putting and chipping and ball striking and hitting low shots and high shots mainly hitting a lot of down hill putts preparing for really fast greens out there," added Marco.
With this being the oldest USGA event and one of the most prestigious certainly Marco has a shot here and obviously some great have won the US amateur championships. Guys like Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
"Just great to be there. I had a lot of support to get here. I didn't do it all on my own. I put a lot of hard work in so just to play in any USGA event is an honor,"
again said Marco.
In the fall Marco heads south to Elon University in North Carolina to focus on his education. Steve Lloyd reporting for Newswatch 16 sports from Lackawanna County.