Mid-Am Rookie Consul Inspired by Countryman Kaymer
September 11, 2016 | Elverson, Pa.
By Dave Shedloski
On his journey from Dusseldorf, Germany, to his first USGA championship, Claudio Consul derived a measure of inspiration thinking about his junior golf days competing against another talented youngster from the same city.
You might have heard of him. His name is Martin Kaymer, who won the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
“I actually thought about him when I came over here,” said Consul, currently the highest mid-amateur in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ at No. 65. “He’s a year younger than me. We played a lot of junior events together. Obviously, he’s done phenomenally well. I thought about how he played at Pinehurst. It was amazing. Very special. This is a totally different level, but I was thinking that it would be nice to join him in winning a USGA event.”
Consul’s quest continues on Monday when match play begins in the 36th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, as he advanced with rounds of 68 and 76 to post 4-over 144 on Stonewall’s North and Old courses. He’ll face Christopher Thayer, of Denver, Colo., at 9:20 a.m. EDT in the Round of 64 on the Old Course. Late Sunday afternoon, he couldn’t wait to get started.
“I really love match play,” said Consul, 33, who has won the Italian Amateur and German Amateur at match play and was runner-up in this year’s European Mid-Amateur. “It’s my favorite form of golf. I play a lot in Europe. You can never predict it, but I know how to handle it. I just want to enjoy the experience and see how far I can get.”
Consul’s match-play success also included a victory in the 2014 Presidents Putter, an annual competition contested each January at Rye Golf Club in East Sussex, England. The Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society, founded in 1898, hosts the event, open to all current and former members of each school’s golf team.
While earning his doctorate in engineering at Oxford, Consul played on the university’s golf team. That he ended up in the fashion industry isn’t really a mystery; he went to work in his family’s fashion business after leaving Oxford, and last year he took on a consulting gig to free him up to play more golf.
As for that doctorate in engineering, he doesn’t apply it to golf, either.
“The engineering studies … it doesn’t really help in golf. I don’t think it does,” he said sheepishly. “Because of my Ph.D I have tried to listen and follow [2015 U.S. Amateur champion] Bryson DeChambeau, who is very mechanical about his golf game. He approaches it from a very scientific angle, and he’s done well. So I’m curious. But I am more of a feel player. In terms of course management I suppose I approach it like an engineer and I am quite structured in that way. That’s how my brain works. But when it comes to playing, I just play by feel more than anything else. Everyone has to find his way, and that is my way.”
Whether Consul can find his way to the U.S. Mid-Amateur title remains to be seen, but his journey is a solitary one, with no friends or family accompanying him to the U.S. and no caddie on his bag. He also has no expectations.
“I got through to match play. That was the first objective,” he said. “Today was a tough day with the wind. The Old Course is a very good test. If you are a little off, it will punish you. But I’m happy with how I kept my game together. The hard part is over. Now I get to match play, and no matter how far I get, I’m going to enjoy the experience and have fun.”
Dave Shedloski is an Ohio-based freelance writer who frequently contributes to USGA websites.