When it comes to measuring whether Crystal Lake's Ethan Farnam’s early golf career has been a success, the equation is rather simple.
Just take the enormity of the events he has or will compete in, add in that he is only 15 years old and there you have it: success.
By the end of the summer, the sophomore at Prairie Ridge will have competed at the high school state finals and several junior amateur championships, including the Illinois State Amateur, the Western Amateur and perhaps the biggest junior event of them all, the upcoming U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
On Friday, he'll try to qualify for the U.S. Amateur.
“It’s good to compete in all these championships and know it rewards all the time you put in for it, it makes you feel good about yourself too,” Farnam said.
Farnam qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur by shooting a 5-under-par two-round total 139 to finish in second place in the USGA qualifying event June 30 at Schaumburg Golf Club. The top four individuals advanced to the U.S. Junior Amateur on July 21 to 26 at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas.
“I’m really, really excited to get out there. The U.S. Junior is probably the biggest tournament in the nation and maybe the world, so if you can get into that, that’s awesome.” Farnam said.
“I golfed really well, and it was a big improvement from my previous tournaments.”
At the U.S Junior, about 160 qualifiers will compete in the first two stroke-play rounds. After that, the field will be cut to the top 64 golfers, who will participate in the match-play portion of the tourney.
Casey Brozek is the PGA professional at Crystal Lake Country Club and has been working with Farnam for about three to four years. He has seen firsthand the promise Farnam has shown on the golf course.
“I think that Ethan not only has the skills to hit all the big shots, but he has the mindset for it,” Brozek said.
“He’s patient and aggressive when he needs to be, and has a great control of the game at such a very young age. We’re all so proud of him.”
Brozek was Farnam’s caddie when he first tried to qualify for the U.S. Junior last year at Rockford Country Club. Farnam finished in 17th that day, nine shots out of a qualifying spot.
Farnam admits that when he competed at the Western Amateur at Flossmoor Country Club in the middle of June he was a little nervous for the national event. Farnam missed the cut that day but quickly turned it around to finish ninth at the Illinois State Amateur the next week.
He followed that with the U.S. Junior qualification, so it appears Farnam may be figuring it all out, at just the right time.
“It’s going to be a real good experience, and I’m going to be one of the youngest kids in the field,” Farnam said.
“Being around all those good players will give me confidence no matter how I do, but if I do well, that will be even better, especially if I get in that top 64.”