Sam Bennett contended for the Masters championship and was in position to make a run for the green jacket before he eventually fell off the pace in the fourth round.
He finished the weekend as the low amateur winner. No other amateur golfer made the cut at Augusta National. Jon Rahm would come away with the victory, outlasting Brooks Koepka. Bennett got to pose with his trophy next to Rahm, who sported the famous green jacket.
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But as Rahm picked up more than $3.2 million for the win, Bennett leaves Georgia without any prize money. Bennett still has his amateur status as he competes in college for Texas A&M. The amateur status precludes him from prize money, but his name, image and likeness value is likely to skyrocket.
“The sort of television time Sam is getting today? The exposure his story is getting and the attention his social-media channels are getting? I’d estimate it will be worth at least in the high six figures – and probably seven figures – for him going forward,” NIL expert Luke Fedlam told Golf Digest on Sunday.
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“We’ve seen college athletes on television in events like football or the NCAA Tournament, but the opportunity to have brand deals in place and represent them in competition against the professionals on the biggest stage? This changes the metric.”
Golf Digest noted the extra time Bennett’s sponsors like Ping, Suncast, Johnnie O, Veritex Bank and Cap Fleet got as he was able to participate in the final two rounds of the Masters. The report added that Bennett “probably secured seven figures” in NIL money due to his play.
Fedlam said brands could potentially invest in amateur players for the potential of them getting to play in major tournaments.
“The sport is already used to its players trading their name, image and likeness to endorse products,” the sports attorney told Golf Digest. “Pros have been wearing hats and logos for decades, and now college players stand to benefit from that. You know other brands are going to be investigating [in] amateur players who have the potential to get exposure in big tournaments because it presents the chance to get in for less investment and see a potentially huge return.”
Bennett finished 2-under par and tied for 16th. He shot a 68 in each of the first two rounds but had a 76 in Round 3 and 74 in Round 4.
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