Colin Prater hit the opening tee shot of the 123rd U.S. Amateur on Monday, just the start of a memorable week for the 28-year-old science teacher and golf coach at Doherty High School in Colorado Springs. A four-time Division II All-America player at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, he hadn’t advanced to match play in his two previous U.S. Amateurs, in 2016 and 2019. He shot 1-under 142 to earn the 46th seed, then made two late birdies to tie his match on Wednesday vs. No. 19 Ryggs Johnston. On No. 18, Prater hit his tee shot in the water, seemingly dashing his hopes, but he made a gutsy bogey 5 by executing “the best swing of my life” with a 4-iron, then making a 7-foot putt to tie Johnston and force extra holes. Though he lost to Johnston’s birdie on the 21st hole, he held his 10-month-old daughter Blake afterward and said, “This experience has been the coolest thing on the planet, to have my wife and my parents and a ton of high school kids watch me play. To be able to grind and stay in it and force extras, I’m really proud of that. The biggest disappointment is that it’s over.”