Making the jump from college to PGA TOUR golf can be daunting for even the best players, but for Chris Gotterup, who finished No. 7 on the PGA TOUR University Velocity Global Ranking and has had a handful of TOUR starts already, the transition has been nothing short of seamless.
He has “TOUR-quality” ball-striking, “occasionally unbeatable” driving. Oklahoma men’s golf coach Ryan Hybl, speaking to PGATOUR.com during the John Deere Classic this summer, praised the College Player of the Year with those superlatives and more. Gotterup is “as ready for big-time pro golf as anybody I’ve been around,” Hybl said.
“More importantly,” the Sooners’ coach continued, “he is gritty and he believes he is supposed to be there, which is high on the value chart.”
You can’t argue with his results. Gotterup, who plays out of Little River, New Jersey, is a former winner of the prestigious Met Amateur. He wowed at Rutgers before transferring to Oklahoma for his senior year. Still finishing up his senior year in Norman in March, he played in the Puerto Rico Open and, hardly overwhelmed by the step up in class, finished T7.
Buoyed by the best result by an amateur on the PGA TOUR since Sam Burns at the 2017 Barbasol Championship (T6), Gotterup turned pro and accepted sponsor exemptions into the Travelers Championship (T35) and John Deere Classic (T4).
It was at the Deere, where he flirted with winning and shot a 5-under 66 in the final round, that Gotterup really made an impression. He played his way into the following week’s Barbasol Championship (MC), and very nearly into The Open Championship as one of the top three finishers not otherwise exempt to tee it up at the Old Course at St. Andrews.
“Validation that I do belong out here,” Gotterup said. Keep an eye on him.