Growing up as a youngster, Riley Bell’s main focus was baseball and football. That all changed when he was 13-years old and his grandfather took him out for a round of golf.
“I remember not being so sure about playing golf and then after a few holes I was hooked,” Bell said. “I went home and immediately told my parents that I wanted to seriously pursue the sport of golf.”
Fast forward more than a decade later and the now Sacramento State golfer has qualified for the 2019 U.S. Amateur Golf Championship at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in North Carolina on August 11.
While it sounds like a fast transition for most on the outside looking in, Bell knows it wasn’t always easy.
“Golf is such a unique sport because it’s a mental game. I have to be honest, I didn’t always believe in myself so when I started to have more confidence in every aspect of my game, my skill level really started to change,”
During his time at River Valley High School, Bell was an absolute gem for the Falcons as head coach Craig Taylor remembers.
“Riley always came to practice and was ready to work. He set an example on the team when he was a junior and senior,” Taylor said. “There’s a reason he’s where he’s at now: His work ethic.”
In his first three seasons at River Valley, Bell qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Master’s golf tournament (missing his senior year by only one stroke). His stint with the Falcons turned a lot of heads in the collegiate scene and ultimately earned him a scholarship to Sacramento State where he’s been lighting up the course as of late.
He finished second in a field of the 50 top amateurs in California with rounds of 69 and 71 on the course of Rancho Murieta which holds a par of 71.
Whether or not Bell will be ready for the big tournament ahead isn’t really a question that needs answering.
“I’m very determined to do well when I tee off at Pinehurst,” Bell said. “I have to remember that my life doesn’t revolve around how I play golf. Ultimately Christ is number one in my life.”
With faith, some tailored skill and endless support from his friends and family, Bell will look to make a run at the U.S. Ammeter Championship on August 11 at Pinehurst Country Club in North Carolina. Bell will be up against 311 other competitors the first two days before a cut is made to 64 on day three, marking the start of bracket play.