U.S. Amateur Championship – 2021 Preview & Results

Sunday 15th August 2021

Match Play – Final

James PIOT (USA) won the 121st U.S. Amateur Championship after a thrilling comeback against Austin GREASER (USA) over the final nine holes of the 36-hole Final.

22 year old Piot is a 5th Year Senior at Michigan State University and with his victory became the first player to come from that state to win the Havemeyer Trophy.

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James Piot (Photo: USGA / Chris Keane)

Greaser, 20 and a Junior at the University of North Carolina, went into the final back nine with a 3UP lead and with one hand on the famous gold trophy. However, by the time he got to the 14th tee he was 1Down, Piot having won four consecutive holes with two birdies and two pars. As he said in his post match interview “I just made some mistakes there on 11, 12, 13, just bogey, bogey, bogey. That’s never going to look good on the scorecard. I just didn’t execute coming down the stretch.”

When Piot extended his lead to 2Up with a par on the 502 yard par 4 15th the writing was on the wall. After two halves with pars on 16 and 17 the win had been secured.

Piot was jubilant. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world. I mean, as an amateur it’s the best thing you can do. After making that putt on 17, I was just like, oh, my God. I might’ve done it. It feels phenomenal, shows the hard work I’ve done is paying off.”

Both finalists had already earned exemptions into the 2022 U.S. Open Championship and Masters Tournament. Piot can now also look forward to a trip to the home of golf for the 2022 Open Championship.

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Match Play Final Results (Graphic: USGA)

Click here to view the – 2021 US Amateur MP Scores

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Saturday 14th August 2021

Match Play – Semi-Finals

Austin GREASER (USA), 20, beat Travis VICK (USA), 21, by 2&1 in the opening Semi-Final. Greaser, who reached the Semi-Finals of the Western Amateur earlier his month, won fours consecutive holes from the 11th to move 3Up and set up victory over the highest seeded qualifier left in the field.

James PIOT (USA), 22, beat Nick GABRELCIK (USA), 19, by 4&3. Similar to the other Semi-Final Piot’s win was founded on three straight hole wins between the 9th and 11th. Gabrelcik was the highest ranked WAGR player left in the filed whilst Piot held that honour in the SPWAR.

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Match Play Semi-Final Results (Graphic: USGA)

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Friday 13th August 2021

Match Play – Quarter Finals

The Quarter Finals started in the afternoon and were completed in the early evening bringing the Championship back on schedule.

Here are the current SPWAR and WAGR amateur rankings of the four semi-finalists: –
Austin GREASER (USA) – #60 / #82
Travis VICK (USA) – #35 / #45
James PIOT (USA) – #7 / #86
Nick GABRELCIK (USA) – #21 / #28

All four have earned exemptions into the 2022 U.S. Amateur Championship at Ridgewood C.C. in Paramus, New Jersey by getting this far.

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Match Play Quarter Final Results (Graphic: USGA)

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Match Play – Round of 16

Ricky CASTILLO (USA), who was unbeaten in this year’s Walker Cup, was a surprise casualty in this round.

Here are the full Round of 16 results: –

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Match Play Round of 16 Results (Graphic: USGA)

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Match Play – Round of 32

The remaining Round of 32 matches were quickly completed on Friday morning.

Sadly Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) lost his match to Davis CHATFIELD (USA) by 1 Hole thus ending GB&I’s interest in this year’s Championship.

Here are the full Round of 32 results: –

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Match Play Round of 32 Results (Graphic: USGA)

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Thursday 12th August 2021

Match Play – Round of 32

The fourth weather delay over the last three days saw play ended on Thursday evening at 6.35pm (11.35pm BST). Again it was rain and thunderstorms in the Oakmont area that saw the time lost move past the 10 hours mark. The previous delays saw the USGA, for the first time during the Match Play Stage, implement a two tee start for the Round of 32.

Just four of the 16 Round of 32 matches were completed before this latest suspension with Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) 1Down against 22nd seed Davis CHATFIELD (USA) after 13 holes.

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Match Play – Round of 64

The ‘curse of the medalist’ struck Mark GOETZ (USA) as he lost by 1 Hole to David NYFJALL (SWE), who having come through the 12-for-1 play-off is gaining confidence. Nyfjall was 3Down with four holes to play before winning them all with three pars and a closing birdie.

From a home perspective it was good to see Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) come through his match against 54th seed Chase SIENKIEWICZ (USA). Alex, who was 2Down after six holes, was 5-under par for the 16 holes he ultimately required to secure a 3&2 victory.

Here are the full Round of 64 results: –

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Match Play Round of 64 Results (Graphic: USGA)

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Wednesday 11th August 2021

Match Play – Round of 64

The start of the Match Play Stage, being played exclusively at Oakmont C.C., was delayed due to further afternoon thunderstorms and another four hour suspension.

By the close of play just one match had been completed, 17 others were on the course and 14 had been deferred until tomorrow morning.

Ricky CASTILLO (USA) beat Donald KAY (USA) by 5&4 in the only match to be completed.

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Stroke Play Qualifying

The second round of the Stroke Play Qualifying recommenced at 7.30am (12.30pm BST) this morning.

Medalist honours were eventually secured by Mark GOETZ (USA) who turned 23 yesterday and grew up about 30 miles away from Oakmont. His rounds of 64 and 68 at Longue View and Oakmont respectively gave him a 132 -8 total, the joint second lowest in the history of the Championship.

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Mark Goetz (Photo: USGA)

A 12-for-1 play-off at Oakmont C.C. saw David NYFJALL (SWE) become the 64th and final player to progress to the Match Play Stage. The 12 players involved in the shoot out all finished on 143 (+3) with Nyfjall’s 8 foot birdie putt on the third extra hole, the 18th, proving decisive.

The average Round 2 score at Oakmont was 74.97, just over two shots easier than Round 1’s 77.16 after yesterday’s rain had softened up the course and greens. Surprisingly nearby Longue View played slightly harder at 71.97 v. Round 1’s 71.69.

Here are the leading scores in the Stroke Play Qualifying: –

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Stroke Play Qualifying Results (Graphic: USGA)

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) was the only GB&I player to qualify for the Match Play Stage again confirming his status as our No. 1 amateur. He enters the Match Play as the 11th seed.

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GB&I Stroke Play Qualifying Results (Graphic: USGA)

Click here to view the – 2021 US Amateur SP Qualifying Results

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Tuesday 10th August 2021

Stroke Play Qualifying

Round 2 of the Stroke Play Qualifying started at Oakmont Country Club and Longue Vue Club in Pennsylvania at 7.30am (12.30 pm BST) on Tuesday. However, a four hour delay during the afternoon meant that 156 players were unable to complete their second rounds.

With the top 64 cut expected to fall at +3 or +4 Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) still looks very well placed to qualify with 7 holes to play at Oakmont. Sadly it now seems inevitable that he will be GB&I’s only representative in the second stage.

Here is the GB&I scoreboard on Tuesday evening when play was suspended at 8.00pm (1.00am BST).

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GB&I Round 1 and 2 Scores (Graphic: USGA)

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Monday 9th August 2021

Stroke Play Qualifying

As expected there proved to be a material divergence between the scoring at Oakmont Country Club and Longue Vue Club, the two courses hosting the Stroke Play Qualifying. The average score at Oakmont in Round 1 was 77.16 compared with 71.69 at Longue View; the former playing 5.47 shots harder than its co-host 6 miles away.

Of the 82 players who finished Round 1 in the top 64 or tied for 64th just seven played Oakmont. Cole SHERWOOD (USA) 69 -1 and Parker COODY (USA) 70 Ev were the only two players to shoot par or better at Oakmont out of the 156 to take it on.

It should be noted conditions were also near perfect; temperatures in the high 80’s with very little wind.

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) -6 made a great start to proceedings with a 64 at Longue View. The leader, Jacob BRIDGEMAN (USA) is just one shot better than him after he opened with a course record equalling 63 -7. Whilst nothing can be taken for granted around Oakmont Alex looks well set to progress to the Match Play stage after tomorrow’s round.

Conor GOUGH (ENG) shot a 74 +4 around Longue View and was lying tied 140th. However, he withdrew after his round. I assume this was injury related but may as well have been because there was never going to be away back from that with Oakmont still to come.

Dev MORLEY (IRL) +5, tied 168th, and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) +6, tied 188th, battled hard for their scores at Oakmont in Round 1. Whilst they will need to produce an under par round tomorrow at Longue View they still have a chance to make the top 64 cut.

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) +8 also plays Longue View tomorrow but looks as if he has left himself too much to do after his 78 today.

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GB&I Round 1 Scores and Round 2 Tee Times (Graphic: USGA)

Joe HIGHSMITH (USA) and Mark GOETZ (USA) are tied with Fitzpatrick on -6 with Michael THORBJORNSEN (USA), recent winner of the Western Amateur, well placed on -5 alongside Caleb SURRATT (USA), Brian MA (USA) and Brad REEVES (USA).

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8th August 2021

Introduction

This year’s Championship is being played at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont and Longue Vue Club in Verona, both of which are located in western Pennsylvania.

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

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2021 Field

The U.S. Amateur Championship is open to amateur golfers with a Handicap Index not exceeding 2.4.

7,811 entries, all paying the $175 entry fee, were received by the USGA this year.

The final field is made up of 312 players who were either exempt or who qualified. The average age is 23.41 with the youngest player being Reed Greyserman (16) and the oldest Bob Royok (59).

57 players were exempt based on their performances in previous amateur championships, selection for the Walker Cup or top 50 ranking in the WAGR.

The remainder of the field qualified by playing in one of 94 36 hole events staged by the USGA at venues across the USA (91), Canada (1), Mexico (1) and Puerto Rico (1). Click here to view all of the – Qualifier Results.

The early scheduling of the Walker Cup, which saw a number of our leading players turn pro earlier in the summer, and the COVID-19 travel restrictions mean that only five GB&I players are in the 2021 field. They are: –

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) – Qualifier: Lago Mar CC, Florida (Medalist)
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2019 & 2021 / WAGR #4 on 23rd June 2021
Conor GOUGH (ENG) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2019
Dev MORLEY (IRL) – Qualifier: Clustered Spires GC, Maryland (Medalist)
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) – Exemption: Special USGA; GB&I Walker Cup Team 2021 Reserve

To put this into context there were 11 GB&I players at Bandon Dunes last year, 11 at Pinehurst in 2019, 7 at Pebble Beach in 2018, 9 at Riviera in 2017 and 11 at Oakland Hills in 2016.

The following GB&I players chose not to or were unable to take up their exemptions: –

Barclay BROWN (ENG) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2021 / WAGR #41 on 23rd June 2021
Jack COPE (ENG) – Exemption: WAGR #20 on 23rd June 2021
Jack DYER (ENG) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2021
Mark POWER (IRL) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2021 / WAGR #32 on 23rd June 2021
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2019 / WAGR #7 on 23rd June 2021
Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) – Exemption: Amateur Champion 2021 / WAGR #49 on 4th August 2021

The English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy is being played at Ganton G.C. on 19-22 August 2021 which may prove to be an easier option.

The in form, highly ranked players, who I would expect to feature strongly at Oakmont are Ludvig ABERG (SWE), Ricky CASTILLO (USA), Pierceson COODY (USA), Louis DOBBELAAR (AUS), Nick GABRELCIK (USA), Ryan HALL (USA), Cole HAMMER (USA), Joe HIGHSMITH (USA), Bo JIN (CHN), Dylan MENANTE (USA), Maxwell MOLDOVAN (USA), Trent PHILLIPS (USA), James PIOT (USA), Luke POTTER (USA), David PUIG (ESP), Gordon SARGENT (USA) and Michael THORBJORNSEN (USA).

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18th Hole, Oakmont Country Club 

Format / Schedule

36-holes of stroke play will determine the top 64 match play qualifiers. Ties for the last qualifying place will be resolved by a sudden death play-off.

Six 18 hole match play rounds will then be played culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.

Monday 9th August – Stroke Play Round 1 (Oakmont and Longue Vue – 18 holes)
Tuesday 10th August – Stroke Play Round 2 (Oakmont and Longue Vue – 18 holes)
Wednesday 11th August – Match Play Round of 64 (Oakmont – 18 holes)
Thursday 12th August – Match Play Rounds of 32 and 16 (Oakmont- 18 holes)
Friday 13th August – Match Play Quarter Finals (Oakmont – 18 holes )
Saturday 14th August – Match Play Semi-Finals (Oakmont – 18 holes)
Sunday 15th August – Match Play Championship Final (Oakmont – 36 holes)

Tee Times

Click here to view the – 2021 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Tee Times

With Pennsylvania being 5 hours behind the UK play will start in our early afternoon and proceed through the evening.

Host Courses

Oakmont Country Club – stroke play and match play
7,254 yards (maximum), Par 70, Course Rating 76.7, Slope Rating 142
Opened in 1903
Designed by Henry Fownes and renovated by Tom Fazio in 2015.

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Oakmont Country Club (Photo: Ruben A. Campus / @Chopper11Pilot)

The course was originally built on farmland adjacent to the Allegheny River Valley. Unusually for such a prestigious venue a major road, the Pennsylvania Turnpike which was constructed in the late 1940s, passes through the middle of the site. Two bridges link holes 1 and 8-18 and the clubhouse with holes 2-7.

Oakmont has the reputation of being one of the toughest courses in the United States. Over 175 bunkers and hard and fast greens which often slope away from the player provide a stern test.

Oakmont Country Club has hosted more major Championships than any other course in USA – 20. This will be its 17th USGA Championship – nine United States Opens (1927, 1935, 1953, 1962, 1973, 1983, 1994, 2007, 2016), five U.S. Amateurs (1919, 1925, 1938, 1969, 2003, 2021) and two U.S. Women’s Open (1992, 2010). It has also staged three U.S. PGA Championships (1922, 1951, 1978). Only Merion G.C. with 18 (19 after next year’s Curtis Cup), also in Pennsylvania, has hosted more USGA Championships.

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Longue Vue Club – stroke play co-host
6,647 yards (maximum), Par 70, Course Rating 73.3, Slope Rating 141
Opened in 1922
Deisgned by Robert White (SCO) and renovated by A.W. Tillinghast in 1935.

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15th Green Longue Vue Club (Photo: Jon Cavalier / @LinksGems)

Longue Vue is perched on a hill above the Allegheny River and enjoys some spectacular views. Scottish architect Robert White was the first president of the PGA of America and also installed the first putting green on the White House Lawn.

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Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at 8th August) is predominantly a dry one although there is the risk of scattered thunderstorms throughout which may disrupt play.

Stroke Play Qualifying
Mon 9th August – Cloudy / Wind 7 mph S / Temp. Min. 22°C, Max. 34°C.
Tues 10th August – Cloudy / Wind 10 mph SSW / Temp. Min. 22°C, Max. 32°C.

Match Play Stage
Weds 11th August – Cloudy / Wind 9 mph SW  / Temp. Min. 22°C, Max. 32°C.
Thurs 12th August – Cloudy / Wind 9 mph SW  / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 32°C.
Fri 13th August – Cloudy / Wind 8 mph SW  / Temp. Min. 18°C, Max. 30°C.
Sat 14th August – Sunny / Wind 8 mph NW  / Temp. Min. 15°C, Max. 28°C.
Sun 15th August – Sunny / Wind 6 mph SW / Temp. Min. 16°C, Max. 29°C.

Prizes

The 2021 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 2022 U.S. Open which is being staged at The Country Club, Brookline;

and assuming they remain amateur,
c) An exemption to play in the 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrews;
d) An invitation to play in the 2022 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club;
e) An exemption to play in the 2022 – 2031 U.S. Amateur Championships;

and unofficially

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.

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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.

Spectators / Television Coverage

No public tickets have been sold for the stroke play stage of the Championship with spectators only being allowed onto the grounds of Oakmont on Wednesday – Sunday’s match play games.

Some highlights of the stroke play will be shown on the USGA website and social media channels.

In the USA Peacock, Golf Channel and NBC will be covering the match play stage.

In the UK Sky Sports Golf normally take the U.S. television feed, via the Red Button, over the final match play weekend.

2020 U.S. Amateur Championship

Tyler STRAFACI (USA) won the 120th U.S. Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. He beat Charles ‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA) in the Final by 1 Hole.

2020 U.S. Amateur

Tyler Strafaci With The Havemayer Trophy (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) was the most successful GB&I entrant. He lost to Davis CHATFIELD (USA) by 2&1 in the Round of 32.

Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) and John GOUGH (ENG) both lost in the Round of 64 coming out on the wrong side of tight matches against McClure MEISSNER (USA) 2&1 and Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG) 19th hole respectively.

Wilson FURR (USA) 132 -11 secured medalist honours in the stroke play qualifying after posting a course record 62 (-9) on the Bandon Trails course on Day 2. His 62 was the joint second lowest score in U.S. Amateur history.

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Wilson Furr (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

Just three of the eleven GB&I players made it through to the match play stage of the Championship. John GOUGH (ENG) -2 finished tied 23rd, Sandy SCOTT (SCO) Ev tied 36th and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) +1 tied 48th.

The match play cut came at 145 (+2) with 18 players finishing on this score in tied 62nd place. An 18-for-3 spots play-off was therefore required to finalise the match play field.

Here is a summary of all of the GB&I stroke play qualifying results in 2020: –

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GB&I Stroke Play 36 Hole Qualifying Scores (Photo: USGA)

Click here to view the full – 2020 U.S. Amateur Championship Results

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U.S. Amateur Championship History

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and 2021 see its 121st 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) 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

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
TBD August 2031 – Bandon Dunes, Oregon
TBD August 2041 – Bandon Dunes, Oregon

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Copyright © 2014-2021, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.