U.S. Amateur Championship – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

Sunday 19th August 2018

Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) beat Devon BLING (USA) 6&5 in the 36-hole Final of the U.S. Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

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Viktor Hovland (Photo: USGA)

The Final was effectively won around the turn on the first 18 holes when Hovland won four holes in a row. Bling bogeying 8, 9 and 10 before Hovland birdied 11. The Californian battled to the end but was always unlikely to recover such a deficit against the in form Norwegian.

Hovland is just the second Continental European to win the U.S. Amateur. Edoardo Molinari (ITA) won in 2005 at Merion Golf Club, besting Dillon Dougherty (USA) 4&3 in the Final.

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Match Play Final Results (Photo: USGA)

Click here to view the full – U.S. Amateur Championship Results

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Saturday 18th August 2018

Devon BLING (USA) beat Isaiah SALINDA (USA) by 1 Hole to win the first Semi-Final.

Devon will play Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) in tomorrow’s Final after the Norwegian overcame Cole HAMMER (USA) 3&2 in the other match.img_9822

Match Play Semi-Finals Results (Photo: USGA)

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Friday 17th August 2018

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) lost 3&2 to Cole HAMMER (USA) in their Quarter Final match.

Cole (18), arguably the best amateur golfer in the world at the moment, came into this week having already won the Azalea Invitational, the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (with partner Garrett Barber) and most impressively the Western Amateur Championship this season. He starts his college career at the University of Texas in September and is certainly one to watch.

After the match Cole said to the U.S.G.A.: “I think when I won the Azalea earlier this year, when I came out on top in a playoff against Hugo Bernard and Joe Pagdin, I felt like I belonged in amateur golf rather than just in junior golf. Actually even before that, last year at the Jones Cup, I came in third, and that’s a pretty solid finish for 17 [years old]. But this whole year has gradually been a rise to the confidence that I have now.”

As can be seen from the hole-by-hole scores below this was a hard fought contest with both players in good form. Cole was -3 for the holes played and Alex -2.

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C. Hammer v. A. Fitzpatrick Match Play Quarter Final Scores (Photo: USGA)

Fitzpatrick (19) can now look forward to starting his freshman season at Wake Forest in September with renewed confidence knowing he belongs at this level.

As this year’s eight quarter finalists each earn an exemption into the 2019 U.S. Amateur he can at least take solace in the fact he has also punched his ticket for next year’s U.S. Amateur already.

Europe’s other representative Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) continues to impress. Following his second successive 7&6 win the Oklahoma State player appears to be the man to beat. In beating Austin SQUIRES (USA) he won seven consecutive holes (2-8) and equalled the largest margin of victory in an 18 hole Quarter Final record.

Here are the full results from the Quarter Finals: –

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Match Play Quarter Finals Results (Photo: USGA)

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Thursday 16th August 2018

Match Play Round 3

For the second time on Thursday Alex FITZPATRICK required extra holes to get the win.

This time McClure MEISSNER was beaten on the 19th Hole. As with this morning’s round Alex bogeyed the par 3 17th to put himself under pressure. After three putting the 18th for a 6 and a fortunate half it was great to see the Yorkshireman birdie the 1st extra hole to end the match. 39 holes in a day is more than enough for anyone.

Mesissner is not someone I have heard too much about but having beaten both Brad DALKE and John AUGENSTEIN in the previous rounds he was clearly playing very well.

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A. Fitzpatrick v. M. Meissner Match Play Round 3 Scores (Photo: USGA)

Speaking to the U.S.G.A. after the match Alex was understandably delighted to have made the Quarter finals: “It means a lot. This tournament has been something I’ve really wanted to get in from the start of the year. I’ve worked pretty hard to get in this, and it’s nice to actually play good golf when I get here. I didn’t expect to even qualify for the stroke play, so sort of each match getting further and further is getting more exciting, and as I said, if I was to get knocked out, I still wouldn’t be disappointed because I’ve had a great week.”

In the all-Norwegian match up Viktor HOVLAND beat Kristoffer REITAN 7&6 in a surprisingly one sided game.

Here are the full Round 3 results: –

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Match Play Round 3 Results (Photo: USGA)

Match Play Round 2

It was a close run thing but Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) finally overcame Jesus MONTENEGRO (ARG) in a tight match on the 20th Hole.

Alex pared the par 5 18th to draw level before Montenegro bogeyed the 2nd extra hole to allow the man from Sheffield to progress.

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A. Fitzpatrick v. J. Montenegro Match Play Round 2 Scores (Photo: USGA)

The two other remaining Europeans in the draw are Viktor HOVLAND and Kristoffer REITAN and sadly for Norwegian fans they will play each other in the penultimate game of this afternoon’s series.

Here are the full Round 2 results from Pebble Beach: –

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Match Play Round 2 Results (Photo: USGA)

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Wednesday 15th August 2018

Match Play Round 1

Harry HALL (ENG) lost by 1 Hole to Stewart HAGESTAD (USA). Stewart, the mid-amateur selection for the 2017 U.S.A. Walker Cup team, came into the match full of confidence after recording the lowest qualifying round; a bogey free 66 in his Rd 2 at Pebble Beach yesterday. In a tight match where neither player led by more than one hole Stewart just came out on top.

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S. Hagestad v. H. Hall – Match Play Round 1 Scores (Photo: USGA)

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) beat Ian SIEBERS (USA) 2&1. Ian handed control of the match to Alex with four bogeys in the first six holes and Alex was good enough to see it out from there. The draw was perhaps favourable to Alex but the match still had to be won.  Whilst Ian shot a 68, including 7 birdies, at Pebble Beach in Stroke Play Round 2 and qualified strongly in 7th place he is just 16 years old and therefore inexperienced at this level.

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I. Siebers v. A. Fitzpatrick – Match Play Round 1 Scores (Photo: USGA)

After a birdie on the opening hole Eoin LEONARD (IRE) appeared to lose his way on the famous cliff top holes that end Pebble Beach’s front nine, effectively handing the match to Kristoffer REITAN (NOR) with a sequence of bogeys. Reitan is an experienced international player ranked 44th in the SPWAR so there was certainly no shame in losing to him for the in-form Irishman.

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K. Reitan v. E. Leonard – Match Play Round 1 Scores (Photo: USGA)

Here are the complete Round 1 results: –

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Match Play Round 1 Results (Photo: USGA)

Medalist Daniel HILLIER (NZL) safely overcame play-off winner Jacob BERGERON (USA) 3&2.

The main upsets in Round 1 fell in the lower half of the draw which potentially could be good news for Alex Fitzpatrick. Braden THORNBERRY (USA), Collin MORIKAWA (USA) and Justin SUH (USA), all ranked in the SPWAR’s top 10, lost their games. Brad DALKE (USA), runner-up to Curtis Luck in 2016, and highly rated Junior Akshay BHATIA (USA) also lost in this part of the draw.

24-For-1 Play-Off

The sudden death play-off for the 64th and final Match Play spot started at 7.30am (3.30pm BST) on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. The hole was set at 208 yards for the play off with the flag tucked on the back left hand side of the green.

The play-off was televised in full by the U.S.G.A. and streamed on Facebook and Twitter.

Unsurprisingly given the hole set up and circumstances just two players made birdie on the par 3 from the 24 who were competing. They were Jacob BERGERON (USA), the 12th to tee off, and Peter KUEST (USA), the 24th and last.

Both Bergeron and Kuest then hit great drives into the fairway on 18, the next play-off hole. Unfortunately at that point things went crazy. Bergeron mis-hit his lay up right blocking himself out behind the big tree in front of the green whilst Kuest, going for the green, hooked his approach into the Pacific. To cut a long story short Bergeron ended up winning the hole with a 6 with Kuest could only manage an 8.

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Tuesday 14th August 2018

63 players on +3 or better secured places in the Match Play Stage of the U.S. Amateur championship today.

A further 24 players on +4 will play-off tomorrow morning on Pebble Beach’s 17th hole to determine who takes up the final qualifying spot.

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Stroke Play Qualifying Results Summary (Photo: USGA)

Daniel HILLIER (NZL) secured medalist honours from Cole HAMMER (USA) after both finished on 137 (-6). Daniel edged Cole on Pebble Beach count back. Both played the lead venue on Day 1 with Daniel recording a 67 (-4) to Cole’s 69 (-2).

As expected after Day 1 only Eoin LEONARD (IRE) on 145 +2 [74 SH / 71PB], Harry HALL (ENG) 146 +3 [72 PB / 74 SH] and Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) 146 +3 [72 PB / 74 SH] qualified from the seven strong Great British and Irish contingent.

Eoin qualified in some style. Standing at +5 after 27 holes he needed something special on Pebble Beach’s front nine to make the cut. Thankfully he was able to deliver a 32 including an eagle and two birdies to qualify comfortably.

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Eoin Leonard’s Front 9 Scorecard At Pebble Beach (Photo: USGA)

Eoin has been seeded 43rd, Alex 56th and Harry 52nd for the Match Play Stage based on their qualifying scores.

Norway’s Kristoffer REITAN Ev T19 and Viktor HOVLAND +1 T24 were the only other European qualifiers. Fred LACROIX (FRA) +4 T64 has the opportunity to make it 8 European qualifiers as he is one of the players contesting tomorrow morning’s 23-for-1 play-off.

Whilst Matthew JORDAN (ENG) 148 +5 [77 SH / 71 PB], Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) 148 +5 [78 SH / 70 PB], Robin DAWSON (IRE) 150 +7 [76 SH / 74 PB] and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) 150 +7 [78 SH / 72PB] all produced improved scores at Pebble Beach in Round 2 they had simply left themselves too much to do after struggling at the tough Spyglass Hill on Day 1.

Amateur champion Jovan REBULA (RSA) also missed out on with a 148 +5 [76 SH / 72 PB].

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Monday 13th August 2018

Daniel HILLIER (NZL) and Trevor PHILLIPS (USA) lead the Stroke Play Qualifying competition at the US Amateur Championship at the end of Day 1.

Hillier, 19, shot a 67 (-4) at Pebble Beach which included 5 birdies and an eagle.

Phillips, 20, recorded a 68 (-4) at Spyglass Hill which included 6 birdies, 4 on an unblemished back 9.

Recent winners in the U.S. Isaiah SALINDA (USA) -3 (PB) 3rd, Cole HAMMER (USA) -2 (PB) T4, Akshay BHATIA (USA) -1 (PB) T12 and Michael THORBJORNSEN (USA) -1 (PB) T12 have all clearly brought their form to California.

Hammer is 18, whilst Bhatia and Thorbjornsen are just 16. All three are amongst the favourites this week.

Norway’s Kristoffer REITAN -1 (SH) T12 and Viktor HOVLAND Ev (PB) T28 are the leading European entrants after Round 1.

As you can see from the table below it was a generally disappointing day for the Great British and Irish players. Harry HALL, Alex FITZPATRICK and Eoin LEONARD now have the best chance of making the top 64 Match Play Stage. The other players will need something very special on day 2 to progress where the cut can now be expected to fall at +2 or +3 based on the first round scores.

Amateur champion Jovan REBULA (RSA) also has a lot of work to do if he is to progress.

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Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1 Scores Summary (Photo: USGA)

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Sunday 12th August 2018  

The 118th U.S. Amateur Championship starts tomorrow in Pebble Beach, California.

This year the championship is being staged at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course.

Administered by the United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.) the U.S. Amateur is the most important and prestigious competition in the amateur golf calendar.

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Competition Format

On Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th August all of the contestants will play 36-holes of stroke play, one at Pebble Beach and the other at Spyglass Hill.

The Top 64 qualifiers will then progress to the match play stage of the competition. Ties for the last qualifying place will be resolved by a sudden death play-off.

18 hole match play rounds will then be played between Wednesday 15th and Saturday 18th, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 19th August. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.

2018 Field

A field of 312 players from 24 (2017: 29) different countries will contest this year’s Championship.

261 players are from U.S.A. with Canada (10) and Australia (8) the next best represented countries.

This year 96 (2017: 100) 36 hole Sectional Qualifying events were held in July across the USA, with one each in Canada and Mexico too. The introduction of a European Sectional Qualifier, like the U.S.G.A. stage for the U.S. Open Championship, remains long overdue.

This year’s average competitor age is 22.59 (2017: 22.39).

The oldest player will be Paul SIMSON (67, b. 10th May 1951) and the youngest Gaven LANE (14, b. 16th June 2004).

2015 Walker Cup player Mike McCOY will be making his 19th appearance in the Championship.

Denmark’s Nicolai HØSGAARD has chosen not to take up his exemption that came with his European Amateur Championship win at Royal Hague in late June. He is instead playing in the Boys’ Amateur Championship in Northern Ireland, aiming to secure his spot on Europe’s Junior Ryder Cup team.

There are 7 GB&I players competing. There were 9 in 2017 and 11 in 2016 at Riviera and Oakland Hills respectively.

Here is a list of the GB&I players with their exemption category or Sectional Qualifying event noted: –

Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR 27/6/18

Robin DAWSON (IRE) – Top 50 WAGR 27/6/18

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR 27/6/18

Harry HALL (ENG) – Qualifier at Santa Rosa, California (23/07/17), 68 66 (-10) 1st.

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) – GB&I Walker Cup 2017 and Top 50 WAGR 27/6/18

Eoin LEONARD (IRE) – Qualifier at Westfield, New Jersey (16/07/17), 67 70 (-5) 1st.

Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR 27/6/18

2018 Stroke Play Qualifying Draw

The draw for the 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifying competition can be viewed here – U.S. Amateur Tee Times

California is 8 hours behind us so much of the action will take place overnight.

Matthew JORDAN and Robin DAWSON are in the same threesome. They will tee off at 8.01am (1st) at Spyglass on Day 1 and 1.16pm (10th) at Pebble Beach on Day 2.

Host Courses

Pebble Beach Golf Links
7,039 yards, Par 71.
Opened in 1919.
Designed by Jack Neville & Douglas Grant (1919) / Herbert Fowler (1920) / H. Chandler Egan (1928) / Jack Nicklaus (1998) / Arnold Palmer & Thad Layton (2007-2016).

Pebble Beach famously enjoys nine holes perched on the cliffs above the Pacific and is one of the world’s finest courses. An occasional criticism is that the poa-annua greens can be bumpy in the morning and late afternoon.

This will be the 12th U.S.G.A. Championship Pebble beach has staged. It has hosted four previous U.S. Amateurs; in 1929, 1947, 1961 and 1999, the latter won by David Gossett.

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Pebble Beach Golf Links (Photo: Bart Keagy)

Spyglass Hill Golf Course
7,049 yards, Par 72.
Opened in 1966.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones (1966) / Tom Fazio (R. 1996).

Spyglass starts with five opening holes set in sand dunes near to the Pacific coast before moving inland to more challenging holes amongst the Monterey pine covered hills. A top rated course in the U.S. many commentators believe it to be nearly as good as Pebble Beach.

Spyglass co hosted the U.S. Amateur in 1999 alongside Pebble Beach.

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3rd Hole, Spyglass Hill Golf Course (Photo: Pebble Beach Company)

Weather Forecast (as at 11.00pm 12th August 2018)

A cool spell of weather is forecast for next week with playing conditions expected to be virtually identical on each day.

Stroke Play Stage
Mon 13th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (W). Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 12°C.
Tues 14th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (W). Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 13°C.

Match Play Stage
Weds 15th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (W). Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 13°C.
Thurs 16th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (W). Temp. Max. 19°C / Min 12°C.
Fri 17th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (W). Temp. Max. 20°C / Min 14°C.
Sat 18th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (W). Temp. Max. 22°C / Min 14°C.
Sun 19th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (W). Temp. Max. 20°C / Min 14°C.

UK Television Coverage

Sky Sports will be taking the Fox U.S. television feed, via the Red Button, over the final match play weekend.

Prizes

The 2018 U.S. Amateur Champion will receive the following: –

a) A Gold Medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the following year;

and assuming they remain amateur

b) An exemption to play in the 2019 U.S. Open coincidentally to be staged at Pebble Beach Golf Links;

c) An exemption to play in the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club;

d) An invitation to play in the 2019 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club;

e) An exemption to play in the 2019 – 2028 U.S. Amateurs; and

f) Various invitations to play in PGA Tour and European Tour events.

A Silver Medal is awarded to the runner-up and Bronze Medals to the two losing semi-finalists.

The original silver Havemeyer Trophy was presented to the U.S.G.A. on March 1895 in honour of the Association’s first President Theodore A. Havemeyer. This was lost in a fire at Bobby Jones’ home club, East Lake, in 1925.

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Bobby Jones Receives the Original U.S. Amateur Trophy in 1924

A new gold trophy was produced in 1926. This was retired in 1992 with a copy of the trophy being produced and passed from champion to champion ever since.

Sadly the original gold trophy was stolen from the U.S.G.A. Museum in 2012 and has never been seen since.

The 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship

img_8417Doc Redman (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

The 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship was played at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.

Doc REDMAN (USA) won beating Doug GHIM (USA) on the 37th hole of the Championship match.

In an astonishing finish Redman recovered from 2-Down with 2 holes to play. On the 35th hole Redman dropped a 60 foot eagle putt before finishing the match with a birdie on the 36th and a conceded birdie on the first extra hole.

The U.S.G.A. highlights video below is worth watching just for Redman’s putt on the 35th.

2017 U.S. Amateur Highlights (You Tube: U.S.G.A.)

The Stroke Play medalist was Hayden WOOD who broke the U.S. Amateur Championship 36-hole qualifying record with a total of 131. Wood followed his 64 at Riviera with a 67 at Bel-Air to beat the 132 shot by Hank Kim (1994), Gregor Main (2011) and Bobby Wyatt (2012).

Jack SINGH BRAR, Robert MACINTYRE and Connor SYME all qualified for the Match Play Stage. Harry ELLIS lost out in the play-off on Riviera’s famous short par 4 10th hole. His double bogey 6 in the second group out saw him fall out of contention quickly.

Connor SYME went the furthest reaching the Quarter Finals before eventually losing 2&1 to Doug GHIM.

U.S. Amateur Championship History

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and this will be its 117th playing.

It was first played in 1895, the winner being Charles B. Macdonald.

It has always been decided by match play save for an 8 year period between 1965 and 1972 when the winner was determined solely by stroke play.

Former US winners include Walter Travis (1900-01-03), Jerome Travers (1907-08-12-13), Bobby Jones (1924-25-27-28-30), Francis Ouimet (1914-31), W. Lawson Little (1934-35) Arnold Palmer (1954), Jack Nicklaus (1959-61), Deane Beman (1960-63), Lanny Wadkins (1970), Craig Stadler (1973), Mark O’Meara (1979), Hal Sutton (1980), Phil Mickelson (1990), Justin Leonard (1992), Tiger Woods (1994-95-96), Matt Kucher (1997), Ryan Moore (2004), Peter Uihlein (2010) and Bryson DeChambeau (2015).

British players have won the Championship on six occasions but just twice in the last 100 years – H.J. Whigham (1896-97), Findlay Douglas (1898), Harold Hilton (1911), Richie Ramsay (2006) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (2013).

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Italy’s Edoardo Molinari (2005) is the only player from the Continent of Europe to have lifted the Havemeyer Trophy.

Future U.S. Amateur Venues

2019 – Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, North Carolina – Courses No. 2 and 4.

2020 – Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Oregon

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Copyright © 2014-2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

U.S. Amateur Championship – 2017 Preview, Daily Reports & Results

Sunday 20th August 2017

Final Results

Doc REDMAN came back from 2 Down with two holes to play to beat Doug GHIM in the 36 hole U.S. Amateur Final at Riviera Country Club.

Redman eagled the 17th and birdied the 18th to force extra holes. Ghim, presumably in shock, then made a mess of the tricky short par 4 10th, the 37th hole played, and having made a bogey conceded Redman his birdie putt and the Championship.

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Click here to review the full Stroke Play Qualifying Match Play results – U.S. Amateur Championship Live Scoring

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Final Preview

Doug GHIM (21) will play Doc REDMAN (19) for the Havemeyer Trophy in today’s 36 hole U.S. Amateur Final at Riviera Country Club. The Final will tee off at 7.45am (3.45pm GMT).

The champion will also receive a Gold Medal, whilst the runner-up a Silver one.

Both finalists are now exempt in to the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills G.C. The champion will also be exempt in to the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links and can expect an invitation to play in the 2018 Masters at Augusta National G.C.

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Both players are US College students; Ghim plays for the University of Texas and Redman for Clemson University.

Doug Ghim is ranked 1st in the SPWAR (updated as at 19/08/17) and 7th in the WAGR (as at 13/08/17). Ghim has enjoyed a very strong season and was already a very likely Walker cup pick for the U.S.A.

Doc Redman is ranked 7th in the SPWAR (as at 19/08/17) and 70th in the WAGR (as at 13/08/17). Redman has come on strong in the last few weeks. He was runner up in the Final of the Western Amateur a couple of weeks ago and has now backed it up with a great run at the U.S. Amateur. He must therefore be right in the Walker Cup picture too.

Sophia Schubert, who won the U.S. Women’s Amateur last week also studies at Texas. Whilst I am sure Doug Ghim won’t be thinking too much about it never in the history of the USGA have their reigning men’s and women’s amateur champions attended the same College.

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Saturday 19th August 2017

Semi-Finals (4)

Doug GHIM (USA) beat Theo HUMPHREY (USA) 2&1

Mark LAWRENCE Jr (USA) lost by 1 hole to Doc REDMAN (USA)

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Friday 18th August 2017

Quarter Finals (8)

In a game where neither player was at their best Connor SYME eventually lost 2&1 to Doug GHIM (USA) in the Quarter Final match.

Connor was 5-over par for the 17 holes played, albeit a double bogey on the 16th hole makes this appear worse than it really was. A single birdie on the 8th only produced a half for the Scotsman and against an in form and confident Ghim this was unlikely to be enough.

In his post round interview with the USGA Connor said “I just didn’t quite have my best stuff today. I was grinding away as much as I could. It was a good Championship but I’m obviously disappointed to lose today.”

Nevertheless a great week for Connor and he can now positively look forward to the Walker Cup down the road at Los Angeles Country Club.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

img_8396Match Play Quarter Finals Qualifying Hole Locations (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

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Thursday 17th August 2017

PM – Match Play Round 3 (16)

Connor SYME beat Norway’s Kristoffer VENTURA by 1 hole in their Round of 16 match.

In the previous round Ventura beat Stroke Play medalist Hayden WOOD (USA) 3&2.

In a tight match it took a forty yard chip in on the 18th hole for Connor to come out on top.

Connor was 1-under par for the round and continues to play very well.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

After the round Connor spoke with Shane O’Donoghue on Fox Sports.

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AM – Match Play Round 2 (32)

Connor SYME beat Ricky CASTILLO (USA) 4&3 in a very impressive performance. Teeing off at 7.25am Connor wasted little time in taking the lead, birdieing the 493 yard 1st. A sequence of birdies on holes 6, 7 and 8 put the Scotsman 4 Up and cruising. The match finished on the 15th with Connor -4 for the holes played and bogey free. Let’s hope he can maintain that kind of form for a little while longer.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

Robert MACINTYRE lost 3&1 to Dawson ARMSTRONG (USA) in their Round of 32 match. Robert made a great start – two birdies helping him into a 3Up lead after four holes. However, Armstrong, one of USA’s strongest players, won the 5th with a birdie before winning five holes in a row between the 7th and 11th to lead 3Up. Unfortunately he didn’t have to work too hard for this match turning run as MacIntyre bogeyed four of the five. The end of the line for Robert but he can take comfort in a good Championship which must surely have secured his GB&I Walker Cup place.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

img_8352Match Play Round 2 (32) & Round 3 (16) Qualifying Hole Locations (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

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Wednesday 16th August 2017 – Match Play Round 1 (64)

The day started badly for GB&I with Harry ELLIS losing out in the play-off on the famous short par 4 10th hole at Riviera Country Club. His double bogey 6 in the second group out sadly saw him fall out of contention quickly.

Some better news was to come when the Round of 64 started in earnest.

Connor SYME beat Maverick MCNEALY (USA) 2&1. Connor won his match around the turn, winning the 9th with a par, the 10th with a conceded eagle 2 and the 11th with a birdie 4. 3Up at this point he was able to see out the match, albeit bogeys on 13 and 14 gave McNealy some hope. However, the American then proceeded to bogey the short 160 yard 16th and after shared birdies on the par 5 17th the match was over. Connor finished 2-under for the 17 holes played.

img_8321Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

Fellow Scot Robert MACINTYRE then beat Cameron YOUNG (USA) by 1 hole. In what appears to have been a high class game our man from Oban had to be at his match play best to overcome Young who battled all the way to the finish line. Robert finished 2-under for the 18 holes played.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

In the final GB&I match to finish Jack SINGH BRAR lost by 3 & 1 to Joey VRZICH (USA). As can be seen from the scores below Jack had a bad day at the office, starting very poorly and not really improve. He finished 7-over par for the 17 holes played. Worryingly in the context of the forthcoming Walker Cup this is the second time in three weeks, following the English Amateur, that Jack has qualified easily in stroke play before falling to a relatively unknown player in the first round of match play.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

Here are the hole locations for the Round of 64 Match Play at Riviera Country Club: –

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Match Play Round 1 (64) Qualifying Hole Locations (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

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Tuesday 15th August 2017 – Stroke Play Round 2 

Jack SINGH BRAR, Robert MACINTYRE and Connor SYME have all qualified for the Match Play Stage of the U.S. Amateur Championship.

Harry ELLIS will contest a 13 player for 8 spots play-off tomorrow morning to see if he can join them.

Here are the Round 2 GB&I scores from the U.S. Amateur Championship which started today.

GB&I Round 2 Scores (Photo: USGA US Amateur Scoring)

The Stroke Play Medalist was Hayden Wood who broke the U.S. Amateur Championship 36-hole qualifying record with a total of 131. Wood followed his 64 at Riviera with a 67 at Bel-Air to beat the 132 shot by Hank Kim (1994), Gregor Main (2011) and Bobby Wyatt (2012).

Wood said. “To play that way these last two days has been good. I like where my game is. I feel comfortable on this course (Riviera) and it fits my game. I am looking forward to it because the tournament starts tomorrow.”
ME.

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Monday 14th August 2017 – Stroke Play Round 1 

Here are the Round 1 GB&I scores from the U.S. Amateur Championship which started today.

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GB&I Round 1 Scores (Photo: USGA US Amateur Scoring)

Here are the hole locations for the 36 hole Stroke Play Qualifying at Riviera Country Club and Bel-Air Country Club: –

Stroke Play Qualifying Hole Locations (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

ME.

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Sunday 13th August 2017

The 117th U.S. Amateur Championship starts tomorrow in Los Angeles, California.

This year the championship is being staged at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades and Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles.img_8291Administered by the United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.) the U.S. Amateur is the most important and prestigious competition in the amateur golf calendar.

Competition Format

On Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th August all of the contestants will play 36-holes of stroke play, one at Riviera and the other at Bel-Air.

The Top 64 qualifiers will then move forward to the match play stage of the competition. Ties for the last qualifying place will be resolved by a sudden death play-off.

18 hole match play rounds will then be played between Wednesday 16th and Saturday 19th, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 20th August. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.

2017 Field

A field of 312 players from 29 different countries will contest this year’s Championship.

251 players are from the U.S.A. with Australia (11) and Canada (7) the next best represented countries.

This year 100 (2015: 99) 36 hole Sectional Qualifying events were held in July across the USA, with one each in Canada and Mexico too.

The introduction of a European Sectional Qualifier, like the U.S.G.A. stage for the U.S. Open Championship, is long overdue. Perhaps it could be rolled into the South of England Open Amateur Championship ? Walton Heath have staged the U.S. Open one for many years so I am sure they would be pleased to extend their relationship with the U.S.G.A. further.

This year’s average competitor age is 22.39 (2016: 22.29).

The oldest player being George ZAHRINGER (64, b. 23rd April 1953), who successfully came through Sectional Qualifying and will be playing in his 19th U.S. Amateur.

The youngest Alec NACHMANN (15, b. 27th March 2002) will be one of three 15 year olds competing. One of them Karl VILIPS (AUS), who is certainly one to watch, turns 16 on 16th August.

There are nine GB&I players competing this year. There were 11 in 2016 at Oakland Hills.

Here is a list of them with their exemption category or sectional qualifying event noted: –

David BOOTE 22 (WAL) – QF 2016 U.S. Amateur, Top 50 WAGR 21/6/17

Harry ELLIS 21 (ENG) – 2017 Amateur Champion

Scott GREGORY 22 (ENG) – 2016 Amateur Champion, 2017 U.S. Open Qualifier, Top WAGR 21/6/17

Stuart GREHAN 24 (IRE) – Top 50 WAGR 21/6/17

Robert MACINTYRE 21 (SCO) – WAGR 21/6/17

Alfie PLANT 25 (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR 21/6/17

Jack SINGH BRAR 20 (ENG) – Qualifier at New City, New York (07/07/17)

Daniel SUTTON 21 (ENG) – Qualifier at Iowa City, Iowa (17/07/17)

Connor SYME 21 (SCO) – Top 50 WAGR 21/6/17

2017 Stroke Play Qualifying Draw

The draw for the 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifying competition was confirmed yesterday and can be viewed here – U.S. Amateur SP Draw

Interestingly the two Scots in the field, Robert MACINTYRE and Connor SYME, have been drawn together.

Host Courses

Riviera Country Club
7,284 yards, Par 70.
Opened 1927.
Designed by George C. Thomas and William P. Bell.

Riviera has hosted one U.S. Open (1948 Ben Hogan), two P.G.A. Championships (1983 Hal Sutton & 1995 Steve Elkington) and one U.S. Senior Open (1998 Hale Irwin) as well as serving as the perennial host of the US PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open.

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Riviera Country Club (Photo: California GOLF)

Bel-Air Country Club
6,785 yards, Par 70.
Opened 1926
Designed by George C. Thomas and William P. Bell, assisted by Jack Neville.

Bel-Air has previously hosted the U.S. Amateur (1976 Bill Sander) and 2004 U.S. Senior Amateur (2004 Mark Bemowski).

Bel-Air Country Club (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Weather Forecast (as at 7.00pm 13th August 2017)

Stroke Play Stage

Mon 14th Aug – Sunny. Wind 8mph (N). Temp. Max. 26°C / Min 18°C.

Tues 15th Aug – Sunny. Wind 8mph (N). Temp. Max. 23°C / Min 17°C.

Match Play Stage

Weds 16th Aug – Sunny. Wind 7mph (N). Temp. Max. 25°C / Min 15°C.

Thurs 17th Aug – Sunny. Wind 7mph NW). Temp. Max. 27°C / Min 15°C.

Fri 18th August – Sunny. Wind 7mph (W). Temp. Max. 28°C / Min 16°C.

Sat 19th August – Sunny. Wind 7mph (NW). Temp. Max. 27°C / Min 17°C.

Sun 20th August – Sunny. Wind 7mph (NW). Temp. Max. 26°C / Min 17°C.

As one would expect in California in August the weather is expected to be perfect for golf all week.

UK Television Coverage

Sky Sports normally take the US television feed, via the Red Button, over the final weekend.

Prizes

The 2017 U.S. Amateur Champion will receive the following (assuming they remain amateur): –

a) A Gold Medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the ensuing year.

b) An exemption to play in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills G.C.

c) An exemption to play in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links.

d) An invitation to play in the 2018 Masters at Augusta National G.C.

e) An exemption to play in the 2018 – 2027 U.S. Amateurs; and no doubt

f) Invitations to play in a variety of PGA Tour and European Tour competitions.

A Silver Medal is awarded to the runner-up and Bronze Medals to the two losing semi-finalists.

The original silver Havemeyer Trophy was presented to the U.S.G.A. on March 1895 in honour of the Association’s first President Theodore A. Havemeyer. This was lost in a fire at Bobby Jones’ home club, East Lake, in 1925.

A new gold trophy was produced in 1926. This was retired in 1992 with a copy of the trophy being produced and passed from champion to champion ever since.

Sadly the original gold trophy was stolen from the USGA Museum in 2012 and has never been seen since.

The 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship

The 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship was played at Oakland Hills Country Club near Detroit.

Curtis LUCK (AUS) won beating Brad DALKE (USA) 6&4 in the 36-hole Championship match.

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Curtis Luck (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Alex SMALLEY (USA) earned medalist honours in the Stroke Play Qualifying. His 133 (-7) total came after two impressive rounds; a 65 on the North Course (NC), followed on Day 2 by a 68 on the tougher South Course (SC).

In the Stroke Play 56 players scored +1 or better to progress. A further 23 players finished with a +2 total and were required to participate in a sudden death play-off to determine the final 8 qualifiers.

Collectively Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) enjoyed a relatively successful Championship. Six of our players progressed to the Match Play Stage including one from each of the four home nations.

Here is a summary of the GB&I performances (in order of success): –

David BOOTE (WAL)
MP – Brad DALKE (USA) won 3&2 in the Quarter Finals.
SP – Tied 57th, SC 70 / NC 72 (+2)*

Sam HORSFIELD (ENG)
MP – Dylan MEYER (USA) won 19th hole in Round of 16.
SP – Tied 11th, NC 66 / SC 72 (-2)

Scott GREGORY (ENG)
MP – Nick CARLSON (USA) won 19th hole in Round of 32.
SP – Tied 6th, NC 69 / SC 68 (-3)

Connor SYME (SCO)
MP – Dylan MEYER (USA) won 2Up in Round of 64.
SP – Tied 30th, SC 70 / NC 70 (Ev)

Bradley MOORE (ENG)
MP – Dawson ARMSTRONG (USA) won 1Up in Round of 64.
SP – Tied 57th, NC 71 / SC 71 (+2)*

Jack HUME (IRE)
MP – Bryson NIMMER (USA) won 1Up in Round of 64.
SP – Tied 41st, SC 72 / NC 69 (+1)

Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied 80th, SC 71, NC 72 (+3)

Ewen FERGUSON (SCO)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied 80th, NC 72, SC 71 (+3)

Robert MACINTYRE (SCO)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied 99th, NC 68, SC 76 (+4)

Grant FORREST 23 (SCO)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied185th, NC 73, SC 75 (+9)

Jamie BOWER (ENG)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied 243rd, SC 74, NC 77 (+11)

* David BOOTE and Bradley MOORE both birdied the 11th in the Stroke Play Qualifying play-off to progress to the match play stage, holing putts of 20 and 45 yards respectively on the 465 yard par 4.

To review all of the U.S. Amateur Championship results click this link – 2016 U.S. Amateur Results

U.S. Amateur Championship History

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and this will be its 117th playing.

It was first played in 1895, the winner being Charles B. Macdonald.

It has always been decided by match play save for an 8 year period between 1965 and 1972 when the winner was determined solely by stroke play.

Former US winners include Walter Travis (1900-01-03), Jerome Travers (1907-08-12-13), Bobby Jones (1924-25-27-28-30), Francis Ouimet (1914-31), W. Lawson Little (1934-35) Arnold Palmer (1954), Jack Nicklaus (1959-61), Deane Beman (1960-63), Lanny Wadkins (1970), Craig Stadler (1973), Mark O’Meara (1979), Hal Sutton (1980), Phil Mickelson (1990), Justin Leonard (1992), Tiger Woods (1994-95-96), Matt Kucher (1997), Ryan Moore (2004), Peter Uihlein (2010) and Bryson DeChambeau (2015).

British players have won the Championship on six occasions but just twice in the last 100 years – H.J. Whigham (1896-97), Findlay Douglas (1898), Harold Hilton (1911), Richie Ramsay (2006) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (2013).

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Italy’s Edoardo Molinari (2005) is the only  player from the Continent of Europe to have lifted the Havemeyer Trophy.

Future U.S. Amateur Venues

2018 – Pebble Beach Golf Links, California.

2019 – Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, North Carolina.

2020 – Bandon Dunes, Oregon

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The U.S. Amateur Championship – 2016 Match Play Stage

17th – 21st August 2016

U.S. Amateur – Match Play Championship Stage

I believe 2016 will prove to be an historic U.S. Amateur Championship for Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I). I say this because I can’t recall six of our players progressing to the match play stage before and certainly not one from each of the four home nations.

Unfortunately one of our qualifiers couldn’t go on to win it ! David Boote (WAL) was the most successful reaching the quarter-finals of the match play stage.

Here is the story, at least from from a GB&I perspective, of the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship played at Oakland Hills CC, near Detroit.

Final – Sunday 21st August 2016

Curtis Luck (AUS) won the 2016 U.S. Amateur champion, beating Brad Dalke (USA) 6&4 in the 36-hole Championship match at Oakland Hills CC, in Detroit.

img_6613Curtis Luck (Photo: USGA)

Curtis Luck (SPWAR 37 / WAGR 7) went into the final as the favourite based on his superior world rankings; Brad Dalke (SPWAR 180 / WAGR 265) sitting well below him.

In many respects both players have already won though; by reaching the Final both Curtis and Brad guaranteed themselves invitations to the 2017 Masters and U.S. Open. By winning Curtis also picked up an invitation to The Open. Of course all of these exemptions are subject to them remaining amateur players.

Match 63    Curtis Luck 28 (AUS) Won 6&4 v. Brad Dalke 38 (USA)

To review all of the U.S. Amateur Championship results click this link – 2016 U.S. Amateur Results

Semi-Finals – Saturday 20th August 2016

Match 61   Nick Carlson 41 (USA) LOST 21st Hole v. Curtis Luck 28 (AUS)

Local player Nick Carlson made a good start to this semi-final taking a 2 Up lead after just 3 holes. Australian Curtis Luck hung around and eventually got the match back to 1 Down with 1 hole to play. Tragically for Carlson he could only manage a double bogey 6 letting Luck square the match on 18 with a bogey 5. Both players parred the 1st and 2nd holes before Luck birdied the par 5 3rd to take the lead for the first time all day and to make it through to the Final.

Match 62  Jonah Texeira 31 (USA) LOST 3&2 v. Brad Dalke 38 (USA)

In the second semi-final Californian Jonah Texeira led 2 Up at the the turn. However, he proceeded to bogey 10 and 11 allowing Brad Dalke to draw level. Two birdies on 13 and 15 and a badly timed bogey on 14 by Texeira allowed Dalke, 19 yesterday, to pull away, the man from Oklahoma securing a 3&2 victory on the 16th green.

Quarter Finals – Friday 19th August 2016

Match 60  David Boote 62 (WAL) LOST 3&2 v. Brad Dalke 38 (USA)

Brad Dalke is well known for two things – ‘signing’ for Oklahoma College when he was 12 and beating Rory McIlroy in an arm wrestling match at the 2015 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. He also has some game which he demonstrated by starting this quarter final with five birdies in his first 6 holes. It was to David Boote‘s credit that despite this onslaught he managed to turn just 2 Down after three birdies of his own. Boote continued to play well on the back nine but further birdies from Dalke on 11 and 16 were good enough to secure a 3&2 win for the American. David Boote played his best round of the week thing to Dalke. It was just one of those match play days for the Welshman (who lives in Surrey, England 😉) where he came up against an unstoppable Dalke A-game.

Interestingly Dylan Meyer, who enjoyed such a good day yesterday, ran out of steam on the back nine of his quarter final losing 3&1 to Nick Carlson after three bogeys and one double bogey.

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Round of 16 – Thursday 18th August 2016

Match 49  Dylan Meyer 33 (USA) WON 19th hole v. Sam Horsfield 17 (ENG)
Match 55   David Boote 62 (WAL) WON 2&1 v. Collin Morikawa 14 (USA)

There are no easy matches at this stage of the U.S. Amateur and the two facing our remaining GB&I representatives were certainly no exception to this rule.

Meyer’s amazing short game and putting skills were again on display as he and Sam Horsfield played out a quality match where par golf was largely the order of the day. With no player able to take command of the match it was always likely to come down to a small error. Meyer holed a 15 footer on 18 to take the match back down the 1st and was quickly rewarded when Horsfield missed a short 3 footer for par gifting the Indiana-man the win. It was some day for Western Amateur champion Meyer who knocked out medalist Alex Smalley in the morning before seeing off Sam, the SPWAR No. 1 ranked player in the world, in the afternoon.

Collin Morikawa, a California college golfer, and former Stanford-man David Boote will surely have been well known to each other before their Rd of 16 match teed-off.  Birdies on the first two holes by Boote would have sent a clear message to Morikawa and whilst the Californian got the match back to even on the 4th poor bogies 0n 5, 7 and 8 handed back the initiative to Boote. With a 3 Up lead to defend on the back nine Boote had the mental fortitude and golfing ability to par his way into a 2&1 victory which he secured on the 17th. This was a very impressive win for the Welshman as Morikawa has been in excellent recent form, winning the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur before finishing second at the Air Capital Classic on the professional Web.com Tour.

Round of 32 – Thursday 18th August 2016

Three GB&I players progressed to the Round of 32.

Match 34   Doc Redman 49 (USA) LOST 5&4 v. Sam Horsfield 17 (ENG)
Match 36   Scott Gregory 9 (ENG) LOST 19th Hole v. Nick Carlson 41 (USA)
Match 45   David Boote 62 (WAL) WON 3&1 v. Ben Schlottman 35 (USA)

Sam Horsfield celebrated moving to the top of the SPWAR earlier this week by playing his very best golf to beat Doc Redman this morning. He shot 29 on the front nine before finishing the match 7-under on the 14th. Let’s hope he hasn’t used up all his putts this afternoon as he now has to face his recent nemesis, Dylan Meyer. Meyer beat Horsfield two weeks ago in the final of the Western Amateur Championship.

Scott Gregory played really well – he was 3-under for the 19 holes with just one bogey – but came up against an in form Nick Carlson. Despite fighting back from 3-down with 8 holes to play to take the match into extra time the excitement was short-lived. A 10-foot birdie putt from the local Michigan man saw him progress.

In probably the least spectacular match of the three involving GB&I players David Boote wore down Ben Schlottman to progress to the last 16. Boote had three birdies and two bogies but pulled away as Schlottman appeared to lose his game a little on the back-9.

Round of 64 – Wednesday 17th August 2016

Here are the Round of 64 Match Play results involving GB&I players with their qualifying positions included: –

Match 2     Connor Syme 32 (SCO) LOST 2 Up v. Dylan Meyer 33 (USA)
Match 4     Sam Horsfield 17 (ENG) WON 3&1 v. Hugo Bernard 48 (CAN)
Match 7     Scott Gregory 9 (ENG) WON 7&5 v. Raymond Knoll 56 (USA)
Match 17   Dawson Armstrong 2 (USA) WON 1 Up v. Bradley Moore 63 (ENG)
Match 24   Bryson Nimmer 23 (U SA) WON 1 Up v. Jack Hume 42 (IRE)
Match 25   Gavin Hall 3 (USA) LOST 3&2 v. David Boote 62 (WAL)

Connor Syme and Sam Horsfield both came up against recent amateur championship winners – Dylan Meyer won the Western Amateur whilst Hugo Bernard picked up the Canadian Amateur title just last weekend. In tight matches Syme was beaten 2Up, losing the last two holes to par, whilst Horsfield, who shot -4 for the 17 holes he completed, managed to ease out the competitive Bernard. Sam Horsfield has Terry Mundy, a family friend and the long-time caddie of Ian Poulter, on his bag at Oakland Hills CC this week.

Scott Gregory had a much easier task in his match against Raymond Knoll who simply never got going today. Knoll bogeyed 7 of the 13 holes they completed making life far too easy for the confident Amateur champion.

Afternoon rain and thunderstorms in the Detroit area led to a two hour suspension in play between 3.40pm – 5.40pm local time.

Unfortunately the tough finish on Oakland Hills South Course proved too much for both Bradley Moore and Jack Hume. Moore did very well to fight back to All Square against the highly rated No. 2 qualifier Dawson Armstrong having been 2 Down with 6 holes to play. However, having birdied the 13th and 16th, he bogied the last two holes to let Armstrong progress. Hume was 1 Up with 3 to play before he bogeyed 16 and 17 to give his opponent, Bryson Nimmer a 1 Up lead heading up the 18th. With the hole halved in par Nimmer moved on from another close match.

David Boote appeared to be in control of his match from the start, his consistent play enabling him to build up a 4 Up lead after 11 holes. He finally saw off Gavin Hall, the 3rd seed, 3&2 on the 16th green.

It is clear from today’s first round matches that almost anything can happen on the last 5 holes of Oakland Hill’s South Course.

For my preview of the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship and information on the Stroke Play Stage please click here – U.S. Amateur Championship Preview & Stroke Play Stage

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The U.S. Amateur Championship – 2016 Preview & Stroke Play Stage

16th & 17th August 2016

U.S. Amateur – Stroke Play Qualifying Stage

Alex Smalley (USA), a sophomore at Duke University, earned medalist honours in the U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying. His 133 (-7) total came after two impressive rounds at Oakland Hills CC; a 65 on the North Course, followed on Day 2 by a 68 on the tougher South Course.

56 players scored +1 or better. This group, all of whom have confirmed their places in the Match Play Stage, included 4 GB&I players. Well done to Scott Gregory, Sam Horsfield, Connor Syme and Jack Hume.

T6     Scott Gregory 21 (ENG)   -3     69 NC, 68 SC
T11   Sam Horsfield 19 (ENG)  -2      66 NC, 72 SC
T30   Connor Syme 21 (SCO)    Ev    70 SC, 70 NC
T41   Jack Hume 22 (IRE)          +1    72 SC, 69 NC

From Europe the following players have also safely negotiated the Stroke Play Qualifier.

T11   Matthias Schwab 22 (AUS)   -2      69 SC, 69 NC
T30   Mario Galiano 21 (ESP)          Ev     69 SC, 71 NC
T30   Robin Petersson 24 (SWE)    Ev     65 NC, 75 SC

A further 23 players finished with a +2 total. This group included David Boote and Bradley Moore. They all participated in a sudden death play-off played over the 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th holes of the North Course.

T57   David Boote 22 (WAL)       +2      70 SC, 72 NC
T57   Bradley Moore 18 (ENG)   +2     71 NC, 71 SC

From Europe just one other player made it through to the play-off.

T57   Federico Zucchetti (ITA)    +2    71 NC, 71 SC

David Boote and Bradley Moore both birdied the 11th to progress to the match play stage, holing putts of 20 and 45 yards respectively on the 465 yard par 4. Federico Zucchetto bogeyed the 17th to drop out of the play-off on the 3rd hole. WAGR-ranked no. 1 Maverick McNealy (USA) also missed out bogeying the 10th, the 5th play-off hole.

The results of the other GB&I and European players are provided below, all of whom missed the match play cut were: –

T80      Jack Singh Brar 19 (ENG)         +3    71 SC, 72 NC
T80      Ewen Ferguson 20 (SCO)         +3    72 NC, 71 SC
T99      Robert MacIntyre 20 (SCO)      +4    68 NC, 76 SC
T185    Grant Forrest 23 (SCO)            +9    73 NC, 75 SC
T243    Jamie Bower 23 (ENG)            +11    74 SC, 77 NC

T80     Pierrick Fillon 20 (FRA)           +3     74 NC, 69 SC
T126   Ivan Cantero 20 (ESP)             +5      72 SC, 73 NC
T143   Antoine Rozner 23 (FRA)        +6     72 NC, 74 SC
T185   Luca Cianchetti 20 (ITA)         +8      73 SC, 75 NC
T185   Andreas Gjesteby 21 (NOR)   +8      76 SC, 72 NC

Click here for the full Stroke Play Results and Play Off Live Scores – Stroke Play Results

ME.

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14th August 2016

The U.S. Amateur Championship starts tomorrow at Oakland Hills Country Club, just north of Detroit in Michigan.

Administered by the United States Golf Association (USGA) the U.S. Amateur is without question the most important and prestigious competition in the amateur golf calendar.

Competition Format
On Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th August all of the contestants will play 36-holes of stroke play, one on each of Oakland Hill’s two courses.The Top 64 qualifiers will then move forward to the match play stage of the competition. Ties for the last qualifying place will be resolved by a hole-by-hole play-off.

18 hole match play rounds will be played between Wednesday 17th and Saturday 20nd, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 21st August. Extra holes will be played in the match play to resolve any halved games.

Oakland Hills Country Club
Oakland Hills CC, established in October 1916 and therefore celebrating it’s centenary this year, consists of two championship courses – the South and the North. The former is extremely challenging with a notorious finish. As the superior course the South will exclusively host the match play stage.


18th hole South Course, Oakland Hills Country Club

South Course
Architect – Donald Ross (1918) / Robert Trent Jones Sr (1951) / Rees Jones (2004/06)
Distance – 7,334 yards, Par 70.

North Course
Architect – Donald Ross (1923)
Distance – 6,849 yards, Par 70.

Click this link to access the Oakland Hills CC YouTube channel and view the full 36 holes – South and North Course Hole Flyovers 

2016 Field
A field of 312 players from 29 different countries will contest this year’s Championship. 247 players are from the U.S.A. with Canada (13) the next best represented country.

The decision by the U.S.G.A. in 2012 to exempt the Top 50 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings continues to help broaden the entry. This year 99 (2015: 97) 36 hole Sectional Qualifying events were held in July across the USA, with one each in Canada and Mexico too. Just in case anyone from the U.S.G.A. reads this it would be great to see one in GB&I or Europe in the future too – just like they do for the U.S. Open Championship.

This year’s average competitor age is 22.29 (2015: 22.16). The oldest player being Chip Lutz (61, b.11th January 1955) and the youngest Edwin Kuang (15, b. 1st August 2001), one of three 15 year olds playing.

Lutz is the reigning U.S. Senior Amateur champion who won the Seniors Amateur Championship at Formby GC last weekend before flying to Ohio to take his place in this week’s U.S. Senior Open. Having made the cut he is due to play in the final round before travelling to Oakland Hills for a 2.10pm (local time) tee time tomorrow. Following heavy rain today at Scioto CC and an almost certain Monday finish it will be interesting to see what Mr. Lutz decides to do.

Surprise 2014 champion Gunn Yang is the only former U.S. Amateur champion in the field. 70 of this year’s players also competed in last year’s Championship at Olympia Fields CC near Chicago.

There are eleven GB&I players competing. Here is a list of them with their exemption category or sectional qualifying event noted: –

David Boote 22 (WAL)             – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Jamie Bower 23 (ENG)            – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Ewen Ferguson 20 (SCO)       – 2015 Walker Cup, Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Grant Forrest 23 (SCO)           – 2015 Walker Cup, Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Scott Gregory 21 (ENG)          – 2016 Amateur Champion
Sam Horsfield 19 (ENG)         – 2016 US Open, Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Jack Hume 22 (IRE)                 – 2015 Walker Cup, Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Robert MacIntyre 20 (SCO)    – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Bradley Moore 18 (ENG)         – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Jack Singh Brar 19 (ENG)       – Qualifier at Ada, Michigan (05/07/16)
Connor Syme 21 (SCO)           – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16

Sam Horsfield (ENG) – No. 2 in the current World Amateur Golf Rankings

Nine other players have qualified from the Continent of Europe: –

Ivan Cantero 20 (ESP)              – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Luca Cianchetti 20 (ITA)          – 2016 European Amateur Champion
Pierrick Fillon 20 (FRA)           – Qualifier at Napperville, Illinois (25/07/16)
Andreas Gjesteby 21 (NOR)    – Qualifier at Knoxville, Tennessee (12/07/16)
Mario Galiano 21 (ESP)            – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Robin Petersson 24 (SWE)      – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Antoine Rozner 23 (FRA)         – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Matthias Schwab 22 (AUS)      – Top 50 WAGR 29/6/16
Federico Zucchetti 21 (ITA)     – Qualifier at Lubbock, Texas (19/07/16)

2016 Stroke Play Draws
The draws for the 36-hole stroke play qualifying competition can be viewed here – U.S. Amateur SP Draw

Weather Forecast (as at 5.00pm 14th August 2016)
Stroke Play Stage
Mon 15th August – Showers. Wind 6 mph (N). Temp. Max. 25°C / Min 21°C.
Tues 16th August – Showers. Wind 10 mph (NW). Temp. Max. 25°C / Min 20°C.
Match Play Stage
Weds 17th August – Sunny. Wind 6 mph (E). Temp. Max. 28°C / Min 21°C.
Thurs 18th August – Sunny. Wind 6 mph (E). Temp. Max. 29°C / Min 22°C.
Fri 19th August – Sunny. Wind 7 mph (N). Temp. Max. 30°C / Min 22°C.
Sat 20th August – Showers. Wind 9 mph (NE). Temp. Max. 29°C / Min 21°C.
Sun 21st August – Sunny. Wind 10 mph (SE). Temp. Max. 26°C / Min 18°C.

The forecast rain is likely to come with thunderstorms so suspensions in play are possible during the week.

If the current weather forecast proves to be accurate it may have a significant impact on the stroke play qualifying depending on the timing of the rain on both days.

From GB&I Jamie Bower, David Boote, Jack Hume, Jack Singh Brar and Connor Syme are playing the tougher South on Monday. Oppositely Ewen Ferguson, Grant Forrest, Scott Gregory, Sam Horsfield, Robert MacIntyre and Bradley Moore are scheduled to play it on Tuesday.

img_6497

GB&I Results At The 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship
Last year nine GB&I players competed at Olympia Fields CC. Paul Dunne (IRE) was our best finisher reaching the quarter finals of the match play (MP) stage – he lost to the eventual champion Bryson DeChambeau (USA). Sam Horsfield (ENG) was our only other player to make the Top 64 MP cut which fell at +3.

T14     Paul Dunne 71 69 (-1)              – MP Quarter Finals
T36     Sam Horsfield 72 70 (+2)        – MP Round 2 (last 32)
T73     Cormac Sharvin 72 72 (+4)     – Missed T64 MP Cut
T89     Grant Forrest  74 71 (+5)        – Missed T64 MP Cut
T115   Henry Smart 77 69 (+6)          – Missed T64 MP Cut
T115   Gary Hurley 72 74 (+6)            – Missed T64 MP Cut
T115   Tom Bayliss 75 71 (+6)           – Missed T64 MP Cut
T189   Ewen Ferguson 78 71 (+9)      – Missed T64 MP Cut
T246   Nick Marsh 80 72 (+12)           – Missed T64 MP Cut

History has shown, that the quality of the field is such, that simply making the match play cut is an achievement for many of the GB&I and European players that qualify to compete in the Championship.

UK Television Coverage
Sat 20th August – Sky Sports For iPad 8.00 pm.
Sun 21st August – Sky Sports 4 Red Button 8.00 pm

Prizes
The 2016 U.S. Amateur Champion will receive the following: –

a) A Gold Medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the ensuing year.
b) An exemption to play in the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
c) An exemption to play in the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Troon G.C.
d) A likely invitation to play in the 2017 Masters at Augusta National G.C.
e) An exemption to play in the 2017 – 2026 U.S. Amateurs; and no doubt
f) Invitations to play in a variety of PGA Tour and European Tour competitions.

A Silver Medal is awarded to the runner-up and Bronze Medals to the two semi-finalists.

The original silver Havemeyer Trophy was presented to the USGA on March 1895 in honour of the Association’s first President Theodore A. Havemeyer. This was lost in a fire at Bobby Jones’ home club, East Lake, in 1925. A new gold trophy was produced in 1926. This was retired in 1992 with a copy of the trophy being produced and passed from champion to champion ever since. Sadly the original gold trophy was stolen from the USGA Museum in 2012 and has never been seen since.

Championship History
The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and this will be its 116th playing. It was first played in 1895, the winner being Charles B. Macdonald.

It has always been decided by match play save for an 8 year period between 1965 and 1972 when the winner was determined solely by stroke play.

Former US winners include Jerome Travers (1907-08-12-13), Bobby Jones (1924-25-27-28-30), Francis Ouimet (1914-31), Arnold Palmer (1954), Jack Nicklaus (1959-61), Deane Beman (1960-63), Lanny Wadkins (1970), Craig Stadler (1973), Mark O’Meara (1979), Hal Sutton (1980), Phil Mickelson (1990), Justin Leonard (1992), Tiger Woods (1994-95-96), Matt Kucher (1997) and Peter Uihlein (2010).

British players have won the Championship on six occasions but just twice in the last 100 years – H.J. Whigham (1896-97), Findlay Douglas (1898), Harold Hilton (1911), Richie Ramsay (2006) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (2013). Italy’s Edoardo Molinari (2005) is the only  player from the Continent of Europe to have lifted the Havemeyer Trophy.

Last year Bryson DeChambeau, who had already won the NCAA Division 1 Individual title earlier in the summer, completed a memorable double beating compatriot Derek Bard 7&6 in the 36 hole Final.

Bryson DeChambeau US Amateur 2015

Bryson DeChambeau (Photo: USGA)

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

U.S. Amateur Championship – 2015 Preview & Results

UPDATE – Bryson DeChambeau (USA) won the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship, beating Derek Bard 7&6 in the 36-hole Final.

Bryson DeChambeau (Photo: USGA)          

 _______________________________________________________

16th August 2015

The U.S. Amateur Championship starts tomorrow at Olympia Fields Country Club, just south of Chicago in Illinois.

Administered by the United States Golf Association (USGA) the U.S. Amateur is without question the most important and prestigious competition in amateur golf.

Olympia Fields US Amateur 2015 Logo

Field
A field of 312 players from 23 different countries will contest this year’s Championship.

The average competitor age is 22.16.  The oldest player being Pat Tallent (62, b.12th August 1953) and the youngest Ricky Castillo (14, b. 19th February 2001).

This year entries were received from 7,047 players.  66 of these were exempt into the final field based on their past performances in USGA Championships or via their standing in the Top 50 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as at 24th June.  The remainder of the field progressed to Olympia Fields via 97 36-hole Sectional Qualifying events played across the United States in June and July.

There are nine GB&I players in the field: –

Tom Bayliss (ENG) – Sectional Qualifier (Medalist – Hobe Sound GC)
Paul Dunne (IRE) – USGA Special Exemption
Ewen Ferguson (SCO) – Top 50 WAGR
Grant Forrest (SCO) – Top 50 WAGR
Sam Horsfield (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR, 2015 US Open Qualifier
Gary Hurley (IRE) – Top 50 WAGR
Nick Marsh (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR
Cormac Sharvin (NI) – Top 50 WAGR
Henry Smart (ENG) – Sectional Qualifier (Medalist – Cedarbrook CC / Old York Road CC)

Six of the above are well known GB&I Internationals.  Equally well known is Sam Horsfield, a top US-based amateur whose family moved to Florida when he was five.  Tom Bayliss is from Kent and has been working on his golf in Florida ahead of turning Pro later this year.  Henry Smart is the London-born Assistant Coach of the College of Charleston Men’s Golf Team.

With the GB&I Walker Cup team due to be provisionally selected on Friday 21st August and formally announced on Monday 24th August the U.S. Amateur may be of critical importance to some of the players competing. Likewise the U.S. Team is due to be finalised on 24th August and with five spots still to be confirmed some of their players will be feeling the pressure to.

The draws for the 36-hole stroke play qualifying competition can be viewed here – US Amateur SP Draw.

Competition Format
On Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th August all of the contestants will play 36-holes of stroke play, one on each of Olympia Fields’ two courses.

Olympia Fileds CC Club House

 Olympia Fields Country Club

The Top 64 qualifiers from this will then move forward to the match play stage of the competition.  Ties for the last qualifying place are resolved by a hole-by-hole play-off.  18 hole match-play rounds will be played between Wednesday 19th and Saturday 22nd August, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 23rd August.

Olympia Fields Country Club
Olympia Fields is one of America’s leading golf clubs.  The club hosted the U.S. Open in 1928 (Johnny Farrell defeating Bobby Jones) and 2003 (Jim Furyk) and the U.S. Senior Open in 1997 (Graham Marsh).

The stroke play qualifier will be played on Olympia Fields’ North and South Courses.  The North Course alone will stage the match play rounds.

North Course
Architect – Willie Park Jnr (1923). Renovated by Mark Mungeam (1997, 2003).
7,234 yards Par 70.
Front 9 – 3,712 yards (36) / Back 9 – 3,522 yards (34).
Course Rating 76.8 / Slope Rating 150

South Course
Architect – Tom Bendelow (1915). Renovated by Steve Smyers (2007).
7,037 yards Par 70.
Front 9 – 3,640 yards (35) / Back 9 – 3,397 yards (35).
Course rating 75.5 / Slope Rating 147

The North Course is clearly the tougher and one can expect this to be reflected in the stroke play qualifying scores.

Olympia Fields NC Aerial

Olympia Fields Country Club – North Course

Weather Forecast (as at 12.00 Noon 16th August 2015)
Mon 17th August – Mostly Clear. Wind 5 mph (E). Temp. Max. 33°C / Min 19°C.
Tues 18th August – Thundery. Wind 10 mph (N). Temp. Max. 31°C / Min 19°C.
Weds 19th August – Thundery. Wind 8 mph (NE). Temp. Max. 28°C / Min 20°C.
Thurs 20th August – Cloudy. Wind 15 mph (NE). Temp. Max. 26°C / Min 14°C.
Fri 21st August – Clear.  Wind 8 mph (NE). Temp. Max. 26°C / Min 14°C.
Sat 22nd August – Sunny. Wind 5mph (N). Temp. Max. 29°C / Min 16°C.
Sun 23rd August – Thundery. Wind 5mph (N). Temp. Max. 26°C / Min 19°C.

Event Coverage
News and score links will be available from the USGA’s website – U.S. Amateur Championship Home Page.

Twitter – @USGA / #USAmateur

Fox Sports are televising the match play stage of the Championship in the United States and Sky Sports will be picking up this feed, probably on the red button if there is no GB&I interest, between Thursday 20th and Sunday 23rd.

Prizes
The 2015 U.S. Amateur Champion will receive the following: –

a) A Gold Medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the ensuing year.
b) An exemption to play in the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont C.C.
c) An exemption to play in the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon G.C.
d) A likely invitation to play in the 2016 Masters at Augusta National G.C.
e) An exemption to play in the 2016 – 2025 U.S. Amateurs; and no doubt
f) Invitations to play in a variety of European Tour and PGA Tour competitions.

A Silver Medal is awarded to the runner-up and Bronze Medals to the two semi-finalists.

The original silver Havemeyer Trophy was presented to the USGA on March 1895 in honour of the Association’s first President Theodore A. Havemeyer. This was lost in a fire at Bobby Jones’ home club, East Lake, in 1925.  A new gold trophy was produced in 1926.  This was retired in 1992 with a copy of the trophy being produced and passed from champion to champion ever since. Sadly the original gold trophy was stolen from the USGA Museum in 2012 and has never been seen since.

US Amateur 2015 Infographic

The USGA’s 2015 U.S. Amateur Infographic

Championship History
The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and this will be its 115th playing.  It was first played in 1895, the winner being Charles B. Macdonald.

It has always been decided by match play save for an 8 year period between 1965 and 1972 when the winner was determined solely by stroke play.

Former US winners include Jerome Travers (1907-08-12-13), Bobby Jones (1924-25-27-28-30), Francis Ouimet (1914-31), Arnold Palmer (1954), Jack Nicklaus (1959-61), Deane Beman (1960-63), Lanny Wadkins (1970), Craig Stadler (1973), Mark O’Meara (1979), Hal Sutton (1980), Phil Mickelson (1990), Justin Leonard (1992), Tiger Woods (1994-95-96), Matt Kucher (1997) and Peter Uihlein (2010).

British players have won the Championship on six occasions but just twice in the last 100 years – H.J. Whigham (1896-97), Findlay Douglas (1898), Harold Hilton (1911), Richie Ramsay (2006) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (2013). Italy’s Edoardo Molinari (2005) is the only mainland European to have lifted the Havemeyer Trophy.

In something of a shock last year South Korea’s Gunn Yang won the title beating Canada’s Corey Conners 2 and 1 in the final.  He became the second Korean to win the Championship, following in the footsteps of Byeong-Hun An in 2009, the youngest ever winner at just 17 years old.  An of course is now making a name for himself in the professional ranks and last May won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.  Yang is defending his title this week, hoping to become the first man since Tiger Woods to retain the U.S. Amateur.

Gunn Yang

Gunn Yang – the 2014 U.S. Amateur Champion (Photo: USGA)

ME.

Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.