10th July 2020
The 120th U.S. Amateur Championship starts on Monday 10th August at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon.
The Championship is being played on Bandon’s Dunes and Trails courses.
Administered by the United States Golf Association (USGA) the U.S. Amateur is the most important and prestigious competition in the amateur golf calendar.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic all Sectional Qualifying events were cancelled. In 2019 there were 96 36 hole events.
The 2020 field will be entirely made up of exempt players and has been reduced to 264 players (312 normally compete). It costs $175 to enter the U.S. Amateur Championship.
The exemption categories, largely based on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), have been established by the USGA with the aim of creating “fields that most closely resemble those for a typical Amateur”.
I believe 29 GB&I players had earned an exemption under the various categories but as highlighted below only 12 have taken up the opportunity to compete this year: –
Round of 64 from the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) ENTERED
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) ENTERED
James SUGRUE (IRL) ENTERED
Thomas FORSTER (ENG)
From the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, winners in 2016-2019; runners-up in 2018-2019 and quarterfinalists in 2019
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) ENTERED
Playing members of the United States and Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Teams, four year exemption once appointed to the team (2017 & 2019)
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG)
Conor GOUGH (ENG)
Thomas PLUMB (ENG)
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL)
Sandy SCOTT (SCO)
James SUGRUE (IRL)
Winners of The Amateur Championship (five year exemption) (2016-2019).
James SUGRUE (IRE)
From the current Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) the top 225-ranked players as of 24th June 2020
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) #9
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) #17
James SUGRUE (IRL) #19
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) #20
Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) #27
Ben JONES (ENG) #30
Conor GOUGH (ENG) #43
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) #63
Jake BOLTON (ENG) #69 ENTERED
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) #73 ENTERED
Mark POWER (IRL) #81
Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) #116 ENTERED
John MURPHY (IRL) #127 ENTERED
Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) #136
Matty LAMB (ENG) #145
Joe LONG (ENG) #147
Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) #151
Thomas PLUMB (ENG) #153
Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) #157
Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #158
Keith EGAN (IRL) #160
Harry GODDARD (ENG) #167
Max MARTIN (ENG) #173 ENTERED
Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #178
Callum FARR (ENG) #188 ENTERED
Jamie LI (ENG) #205 ENTERED
Connor MCKINNEY (SCO) #224 ENTERED
From the current Men’s WAGR, the top 25-ranked players using the WAGR Age Filter as of 24th June 2020. Players must be age 25 on or before August 10, 2020. Player’s WAGR profile must include date of birth to be considered for this exemption category
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) #17 (2nd)
Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) #157 (8th)
Colm CAMPBELL (IRL) #399 (24th)
[Matthew Clark (SCO) #319 – date of birth not added to WAGR biography so excluded]
Click here to view the – USGA’s 2020 U.S. Amateur Information PDF
Click here to view the – USGA’s 2020 U.S. Amateur Exemptions List
Click here to view the – USGA’s 2020 U.S. Amateur Field – Exemptions Taken Up List
195 places have been taken up with exempt players leaving the remaining 69 spots to be filled by reference to the WAGR.
This implies that players ranked up to 325th in WAGR on 24th June have a good chance of making the field if they entered before the 8th July deadline. GB&I players this may open the door to include Sam BROADHURST (ENG) #229, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #232, Jamie STEWART (SCO) #237, John GOUGH (ENG) #244, Archie DAVIES (WAL) #249, Luke O’NEILL (IRL) #252, Tiarnan McLARNON (IRL) #254 and Robert BRAZIL (IRL) #270.
There were 11 GB&I players at Pinehurst last year, 7 in 2018 at Pebble Beach, 9 in 2017 at Riviera and 11 in 2016 at Oakland Hills.
I had hoped we would comfortably surpass these recent numbers but clearly the current difficulties surrounding international travel and the costs involved have put many of our exempt players off. It may also indicate that some of the missing names are planning to turn pro shortly.
The prevailing UK and USA quarantine rules will determine how many players actually compete in August. The current position will probably need to be eased on both sides unless special exemptions can be negotiated. GB&I based players travelling to the U.S. would currently have to self isolate for 14 days upon their arrival and then again on their return. This means they would not be able to play in the Brabazon Trophy (18-21 August) or the Amateur Championship (25-30 August) which I assume few would be prepared to give up.
Click here to view – UK Government’s USA Travel Advice
On Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th August all of the competitors will play 36-holes of stroke play, one round on the Dunes Course and the other on the Trails Course.
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 on the Dunes Course between Wednesday 12th and Saturday 15th, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 16th August. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.
Bandon Dunes Course
7,218 yards (maximum), Par 72
Opened in 1999.
Designed by David McLay Kidd.
Bandon Dunes Course Video (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)
Bandon Dunes Course Scorecard (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)
Bandon Trails Course
6,883 yards (maximum), Par 71
Opened in 2005.
Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
Bandon Trails Course Video (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)
Bandon Trails Course Scorecard (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)
The Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is the realisation of a dream by golf-mad owner Mike Keiser, a greetings card millionaire. It now incorporates six courses, including a spectacular 13 hole par 3 set up, all built on sand dunes 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean.
The Resort has previously hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup Match, 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
2020 Stroke Play Qualifying
The draw for the 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifying competition will be made in the week prior to the Championship.
Play will start at 7.15am (BST 3.15pm). As Oregon is 8 hours behind the UK the action will take place place during our afternoons and overnight.
The weather forecast information for Oregon will be added to this Preview in early August.
Stroke Play Qualifying
Mon 10th August –
Tues 11th August –
Match Play Stage
Weds 12th August –
Thurs 13th August –
Fri 14th August –
Sat 15th August –
Sun 16th August –
UK Television Coverage
In recent years the Sky Sports Golf channel has taken the U.S. television feed, via the Red Button, over the final match play weekend.
The 2020 U.S. Amateur champion will receive the following: –
a) A Gold Medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the following year;
b) An exemption to play in the [2020 or 2021] U.S. Open to be staged at [Winged Foot Golf Club or Torrey Pines];
and assuming they remain amateur,
c) An exemption to play in the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club;
d) An invitation to play in the [2020 or 2021] Masters at Augusta National Golf Club;
e) An exemption to play in the 2021 – 2030 U.S. Amateur Championships;
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.
A Bronze Medal is also awarded to the stroke play medalist(s).
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.
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.
2019 U.S. Amateur Championship
Andy OGLETREE (USA) won the Final of the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship beating John AUGENSTEIN (USA) 2&1 in the 36 hole match.
Andy Ogletree (Photo: @USGA)
Augenstein got off to a great start on Course No. 4, which was used for the first 18 holes. Three consecutive birdies helped him build a 4Up lead after just 5 holes.
Ogletree came back at the Vanderbilt player gradually on the back nine and a birdie on the final hole saw him go into lunch just 2Down.
The Mississipian was relentless as play moved on to Course No. 2 in the afternoon. He finally got the match back to All Square on the 31st and immediately moved to 1Up with a birdie on the par 5 14th. After two shared holes with pars a four putt from off the green on the par 3 17th by Augenstein handed the trophy to Ogletree.
Ogletree made just three bogeys in the 37 holes he played in the Final.
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) was for the second year running GB&I’s leading performer in the Championship. He eventually lost in the Round of 16 to Cohen TROLIO (USA) 5&4. Trolio recorded five birdies on his front nine to take a 4Up lead and eventually saw out the game with another birdie on the 14th.
Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Match Play Results
Brandon WU (USA) won the Stroke Play Qualifying competition with rounds of 65 -5 (No. 4) and 72 +2 (No. 2).
Brandon Wu (Photo: @USGA)
Tom SLOMAN (ENG) was one of six players one shot back of Wu on -2. Thomas FORSTER (ENG) and Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) -1 also qualified in the top 20.
11 GB&I players competed in 2019 with just five progressing to the Match Play Stage. Ben JONES (ENG), who finished tied 62nd, missed out after a 27-for-3 sudden death play-off on Course No. 4.
Here are the full GB&I Stroke Play Qualifying Results: –
U.S. Amateur Championship Stroke Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)
Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results
U.S. Amateur Championship History
The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and 2020 will see its 120th 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 U.S. 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) and Norway’s Viktor Hovland (2018) are the only player from the Continent of Europe to have lifted the Havemeyer Trophy.
Future U.S. Amateur Venues
09-15 August 2021 – Oakmont Country Club,
15-21 August 2022 – Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, New Jersey
14-20 August 2023 – Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
12-18 August 2024 – Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota
11-17 August 2025 – The Olympic Club, San Francisco, California
10-16 August 2026 – Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
09-15 August 2027 – Oak Hill Country Club, Pittsford, New York
11-17 August 2031 – Honors Course, Ooltewah, Tennessee
Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.