U.S. Amateur Championship Preview, Reports & Results

14th August 2020 – Match Play Quarter Final

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Match Play Quarter Final Live Scores

It will be interesting to see how far mid-amateur Stewart HAGESTAD (USA), 29, can go. No mid-amateur has won the U.S. Amateur since John Harris in 1993. Additionally, if he can improve his WAGR to 7th or better this week – he is currently 15th – he will earn an exemption into the U.S. Open. Hagestad would become the first amateur to play in four consecutive U.S. Opens since Ben Crenshaw (1970-73). What ever happens from here Stewart has probably already done enough to secure a spot in the 2021 U.S.A. Walker Cup team, which will be his third consecutive appearance.

Philip BARBAREE (USA), 22 and Michael THORBJORNSEN (USA), 18, won the U.S. Junior Amateur title in 2015 and 2018 respectively so both remain on course for a very rare double. Only Tiger Woods has won the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Amateur Championships to date.

Aman GUPTA (USA), 21, is the highest seed remaining. He only earned a spot in the Championship when Ricky CASTILLO (USA) withdrew last friday.

Stroke play play-off qualifier Cameron SISK (USA), 20, the 62nd seed, is also one to keep an eye on.

For the first time since 2004 all of the quarter finalists are from America.

Here is the full Quarter Final line up: –

img_3591

ME.

_____________________________________________

13th August 2020 – Match Play Round of 32 and Round of 16

The winds picked up to gusts of over 30mph in the afternoon making conditions tough.

Of particular note in the Round of 16 was Tyler STRAFACI‘s (USA), 22, 1Hole win over Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG). With the match tied Oliva Pinto’s approach to the final green finished in a green side bunker and inexplicably when he reached the bunker his caddie jumped in and started rubbing the sand with his hand to test the depth. A loss of hole penalty was assessed and as a result Strafaci progressed.

Here are the afternoon Round of 16 results: –

img_3590

Full Match Play Rd of 16 Results (Photo: USGA)

_____________________________________________

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) lost his morning Round of 32 match to Davis CHATFIELD (USA) by 2&1 thus ending GB&I interest in this year’s Championship.

Scott again got off to a bad start before recovering. However, Chatfield maintained his composure and two late mistakes from the Scotsman enabled him to regain the upper hand,

img_3588

Chatfield v. Scott Match Play Rd of 32 Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

Medalist Wilson FURR (USA) bogeyed the 18th and double bogeyed the 19th to hand his Round of 32 match to Harrison OTT (USA). No medalist has won the U.S. Amateur since 2003.

Conqueror of John Gough Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG) had a good win taking out McClure MEISSNER (USA) who had beaten Angus Flanagan in the previous round.

Here are the complete Round of 32 results: –

img_3592

Full Match Play Rd of 32 Results (Photo: USGA)

ME.

_____________________________________________

12th August 2020 – Play-Off and Match Play Round of 64

Cameron SISK (USA), Evan KATZ (USA) and Aaron DU (CHN) came through the 18-for-3 play-off early on Wednesday morning. Sisk and Katz birdied Bandon Dunes’ 375 yard 10th whilst Du birdied the 435 yard 11th to finish affairs off relatively quickly.

From a GB&I perspective only Sandy SCOTT seeded 42 (SCO) was able to negotiate his Round of 64 match coming back from 3Down after 6 holes to beat Brayden GARRISON (USA) 23 by 3&2.

img_3585

Garrison v. Scott Match Play Rd of 64 Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

Scott should now be looking confidently towards the latter stages of this Championship. He won both of his singles in last year’s Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool, has a nice comeback win under his belt here at Bandon and he is the highest WAGR ranked player left in the field (6th).

Unfortunately Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) and John GOUGH (ENG) both came out on the wrong side of tight matches.

The Southern Amateur champion McClure MEISSNER (USA) 8 beat Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) 57 by 2&1. The American won the 16th and 17th holes with birdies to secure the win.

John GOUGH (ENG) 25 lost on the 19th hole to Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG) 40. Oliva Pinto birdied the 17th to regain parity before another birdie on the 19th hole saw him through to the Round of 32.

Medalist Wilson FURR (USA) continued his good form by beating Aaron DU (CHN) by 6&4. However, there were notable losses for highly fancied Davis THOMPSON (USA) and John AUGENSTEIN (USA) in Round 1.

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Match Play Rd of 64 Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

11th August 2020 – Stroke Play Qualifying Round 2

22 year old University of Alabama student Wilson FURR (USA) 132 -11 secured medalist honours 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.

img_3568

Wilson Furr (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

img_3572

Wilson Furr’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

James PIOT (USA) -9 and Ben SHIPP (USA) -7 finished second and third respectively after completing their qualifying with a 65 and 67 on Bandon Dunes.

Day 1 leaders McClure MEISSNER (USA) and Aman GUPTA (USA) were both over par in Round 2 but with their firm foundations in place still finished in the top 10.

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. Sandy did well playing himself into the top 64 with a 70 (-2) around the Dunes course.

img_3569

John Gough’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

img_3570

Sandy Scott’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

img_3571

Angus Flanagan’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

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 will therefore now be held tomorrow morning to finalise the match play field.

Connor MCKINNEY (SCO) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) both sadly bogeyed 3 of their last five holes to miss out on qualification and even a shot at the play-off.

Austin ECKROAT (USA) +3, Cole HAMMER (USA) +3, defending champion Andy OGLETREE (USA) +3, Preston SUMMERHAYS (USA) +4, John PAK (USA) +5 and Pierceson COODY (USA) +8 were amongst the leading home players to miss the cut.

Round 2 Average Scores: Dunes 72.931 (+0.931) and Trails 73.689 (+2.689). As with Round 1 the wind speeds picked up but not as significantly as on Day 1. As a result the score differential between the morning and afternoon starters was less material.

img_3564

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

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

10th August 2020 – Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1

McClure MEISSNER (USA) -8 and Aman GUPTA (USA) -7 recorded the lowest rounds on Day 1 of the 120th U.S. Amateur Championship. Meissner was playing on the Dunes course whilst Gupta started his Championship on the Trails.

The wind picked up significantly in the afternoon and scores were around 3.5 shots higher on both courses from the second wave players.

Round 1 Average Scores: Dunes 75.583 (+3.583) and Trails 75.598 (+4.598).

At the end of Round 1 John GOUGH (ENG) -2 Dunes, Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) -1 Dunes and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) Ev Trails are all positioned in the all-important top 64.

These three and certainly the other 8 GB&I players still have work to do on Day 2 if they are to make the Match Play stage.

img_3562

GB&I Stroke Play 18 Hole Qualifying Scores (Photo: USGA)

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

5th August 2020

Introduction

This year’s 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.

img_3312

2020 Field

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic all Sectional Qualifying events were cancelled. In 2019 there were 96 36 hole events staged by the USGA with the qualifiers making up a large proportion of the final field.

The 2020 field is entirely made up of exempt players and has been reduced to 264 players – 312 normally compete. The entry fee for the U.S. Amateur Championship is $175.

Exemption categories, largely based on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), were established by the USGA with the aim of creating a field that most closely resembles those of a typical Championship.

Based on the main exemption categories originally announced 28 GB&I players earned a spot in the field – see Appendix below for more details. However, due to international travel restrictions many of these players have not been able to take up this opportunity. This in turn opened the door to six other GB&I players who were ranked lower in the WAGR but were based in USA.

On 30th July 14 GB&I players were confirmed by the USGA as being in the field. Barclay Brown, Tom McKibbin and John Murphy subsequently withdrew on travel grounds leaving us with 11 starters. They are: –

Dan BRADBURY (ENG)
Archie DAVIES (WAL)
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG)
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG)
John GOUGH (ENG)
Jamie LI (ENG)
Connor MCKINNEY (SCO)
Rhys NEVIN (ENG)
Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG)
Joe PAGDIN (ENG)
Sandy SCOTT (SCO)

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.

Sadly it will not be possible for any of the above GB&I entrants to play in the Brabazon Trophy (18-21 August) or the Amateur Championship (25-30 August) this year due to the current quarantining rules.

img_3543

The par-4 fifth hole at Bandon Dunes (Photo: USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Most of the leading USA players will be competing at Bandon Dunes and I expect the following to feature strongly: –

John AUGENSTEIN (USA) – 2019 runner-up
Pierceson COODY (USA)
Quade CUMMINS (USA)
Austin ECKROAT (USA)
Cole HAMMER (USA)
Meissner MCCLURE (USA)
Maxwell MOLOVAN (USA)
Andy OGLETREE (USA) – 2019 champion
John PAK (USA)
Tyler STRAFACI (USA)
Preston SUMMERHAYS (USA)
Davis THOMPSON (USA)

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 – 2020 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Draw Sheets

With Oregon being 8 hours behind the UK play will start in our late afternoon and proceed through the night.

Competition Format

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.

Host Courses

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.

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at 9th August) is positive for Championship week. Bandon Dunes in Oregon is on the north west pacific coast so temperatures will be cool and winds will be a factor.

Stroke Play Qualifying
Mon 10th August – Sunny / Wind 21 mph N / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 9°C.
Tues 11th August – Sunny Intervals / Wind 17 mph N / Temp. Min. 19°C, Max. 8°C.

Match Play Stage
Weds 12th August – Sunny / Wind 19 mph N  / Temp. Min. 20°C, Max. 9°C.
Thurs 13th August – Sunny Intervals / Wind 19 mph N  / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 10°C.
Fri 14th August – Sunny / Wind 21 mph N  / Temp. Min. 22°C, Max. 10°C.
Sat 15th August – Sunny / Wind 15 mph N  / Temp. Min. 23°C, Max. 13°C.
Sun 16th August – Sunny Intervals / Wind 11 mph NW / Temp. Min. 19°C, Max. 12°C.

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.

Prizes

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 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 2021 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club;

e) An exemption to play in the 2021 – 2030 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.

img_9870

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.

IMG_1750

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).

IMG_6574

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: –

img_1630

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

Appendix – GB&I Players Eligible For The 2020 U.S. Amateur

Based on the main exemption categories originally announced by the USGA 28 GB&I players earned a spot in the field.

However, due to international travel restrictions many of these players were not able to take up this opportunity. This in turn opened the door to six other GB&I players who were ranked lower in the WAGR but were based in USA.

Here’s a list of the relevant exemption categories, the GB&I players initially caught by them and confirmation of the 11 who will be competing.   

Round of 64 from the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) ENTERED
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) ENTERED
James SUGRUE (IRL)

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
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) #73 ENTERED
Mark POWER (IRL) #81
Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) #116
John MURPHY (IRL) #127
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
Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #178
Callum FARR (ENG) #188
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]

Remaining spots in the championship field will be filled using the World Amateur Golf Ranking
Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #298 ENTERED
Barclay BROWN (ENG) #353
Archie DAVIES (WAL) #244 ENTERED
John GOUGH (ENG) #239 ENTERED
Rhys NEVIN (ENG) #346 ENTERED
Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) #326 ENTERED

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

W. Lawson Little Jr

31st October 2019

William Lawson Little Jr. was born on 23rd June 1910 in Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

He is best known for his “Little Slam”, winning both the U.S. Amateur and Amateur Championships in 1934 and 1935. In these two years the Championships were both contested solely via match play.

He is the only player in history to have twice won both of these titles in the same year. Just three other players have achieved the ‘double’ in the same year – Harold Hilton (ENG) in 1911, Bobby Jones (USA) in 1930 and most recently Bob Dickson (USA) in 1967.

In achieving this feat he won an impressive 33 consecutive match play singles games in the two Amateur Championships and the Walker Cup¹.

Lawson Little Receives The 1934 Amateur Championship Trophy (Photo: Prestwick GC)

He started playing golf when he was 8 and was a student of English golf instructor Ernest Jones who emigrated to the New York area in the early 1920’s.

Little moved to San Francisco when his father, a colonel in the Army Medical Corps, was posted to California. He represented the Presidio G.C. in his adopted City throughout his career.

He first came to national prominence as a teenager in the late 1920’s. His 1928 and 1930 wins at the Northern Californian Amateur Championship helped but it was his part in the 1929 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach that really did the trick. After Johnny Goodman beat Bobby Jones in Round 1 in one of the greatest golfing upsets of all time it was Little who knocked the Omaha man off his pedestal in their afternoon Round 2 match.

Little graduated from Stanford University in Autumn 1935 having majored in Economics and was subsequently inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame.

Lawson Little With The U.S. Amateur Championship Trophy in 1934 (Photo: Leslie Jones)

Little played in one Walker Cup match in May 1934 at The Old Course in St. Andrews. He won his foursomes with Johnny Goodman 8&6 against Roger Wethered and Cyril Tolley on Day 1 and then thrashed Tolley again 6&5 in the Saturday singles.

He was awarded the Amateur Athletic Union’s James E. Sullivan Award for the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States in 1935. This award, which is still handed out annually today, has only been given to a golfer twice, Bobby Jones also collecting it in its inaugural year of 1930. The Little family donated the trophy to the USGA Museum in Far Hills, New Jersey in 2008.

Little was well known for carrying as many as 26 clubs, including seven wedges, in his bag and as such was a major influence in the USGA introducing the 14-club limit in 1938.

He was nicknamed ‘cannonball’ reflecting the huge power he was able to generate from his modest 200lb, 5ft 9” frame. However, it was not just length that made him a leading player in the 1930’s and ’40s; he also had a superb short game, was a sound putter and was an intense competitor with a strong mind. He famously once said “It is impossible to outplay an opponent you cannot out think.”

Little turned professional in April 1936. At the time the U.S. PGA had a rule which meant that new pros had to serve a 5 year apprenticeship at a golf club before they could take up full membership so his playing opportunities, when he was 25-30 and in his prime, were limited.

Thankfully his stellar amateur career meant he was one of the first pros to receive significant commercial endorsements. The PGA’s rules also meant he could take up an invitation to join the Spalding “Keystones of Golf” exhibition tour alongside Bobby Jones, Horton Smith and Jimmy Thompson. In 1936-39 Little calculated that he travelled over 300,000 miles and played around 725 rounds of exhibition golf.

Lawson Little Wine Advertisment

The highlight of his pro career was his 1940 victory at the U.S. Open Championship when he overcame Gene Sarazen in an 18 hole play-off after both players had finished on 287 (-1).

He won a total of eight PGA Tour titles, including the Canadian Open (1936) and the Los Angeles Open (1940). Perhaps unfairly his professional career is considered a disappointment largely because of the high expectations that most people held for him at the time.

Between 1935 and 1957 Little played in 18 U.S. Masters finishing in the top 10 seven times. His best finish was a tied 3rd in 1939. He was the low amateur in 1935 when he finished 6th.

Little played in The Open in 1935, 1939, 1946 and 1948. On the back of his 1935 Amateur win he finished tied 4th, the low amateur, at Muirfield. His next best finish was 10th at St. Andrews in 1946.

Lawson and Dorothy Little With The U.S. Open Trophy in 1940 (Photo: The Golf Auction)

The onset of World War II, where Little served in the U.S. Navy and played numerous Red Cross exhibition games, obviously impacted his pro career. With many major championships cancelled it is said his interest in golf waned with investments in stocks and shares increasingly taking up more of his time.

With The Ryder Cup missing four matches between 1937 and 1947 one of the best match players of all time sadly never had an opportunity to make his mark in this contest.

Little married Dorothy Hurd in 1936 and the couple had four children, Linda, Sandra, Sonya and William Lawson III. Lawson Little III briefly played on the PGA Tour before becoming the club professional and then president of Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley for over 35 years. Like his father he died prematurely in June 2015, aged 67.

Lawson Little Jr was just 57 when he died of a heart attack on 1st February 1968 at his home alongside the first hole at Pebble Beach in California. He had started to drink heavily in the early 1950’s and this inevitably took it’s toll on his health in middle age.

He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1980 but despite this remains one of the least known and most under-appreciated golfers in the history of the game.

Lawson Little Mac Cartoon Celebrating His Amateur Championship Wins (Photo: Pure Golf Auctions)

Note ¹ – 1934 and 1935 Match Play Championship Results

1934 Walker Cup Match – St. Andrews (2 games)
Foursomes W (with Johnny Goodman) 8&6 v. Roger Wethered & Cyril Tolley
Singles W  6&5 v. Cyril Tolley 

1934 Amateur Championship – Prestwick GC (8 games)
Rd1 W 3&1 v. RW Ripley (Banstead Downs) 
Rd2 W 5&3 v. FL Rankin (Sunningdale)
Rd3 W 3&2 v. EA McRuvie (Innerleven)
Rd4 W 3&2 v. LOM Munn (Royal Cinque Ports)
Rd5 W 4&3 v. GB Peters (Fereneze)
QF W 4&2 v. TA Bourn (Sunningdale)
SF W 20th Hole v. LG Garnett (Addington)
Final W 14&13 v. J Wallace (Troon Portland)

The American Walker Cup team were scheduled to sail home from Liverpool on the evening of the 1934 Amateur final. Thankfully The R&A arranged for the Final to start earlier and for the ship to sail at midnight so Lawson could compete and then travel south. As it happened Lawson’s play was so good – he made twelve 3’s in the 23 holes played – that they probably needn’t have worried.

1934 U.S. Amateur – The Country Club, Brookline (8 games)
Final W 8&7 v. David Goldman

1935 Amateur Championship – Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s (8 games)
Rd1 W 1 Hole v. TH Parker (Fairhaven)
Rd2 W 5&3 v. EM Smith (Royal St. George’s)
Rd3 W 4&3 v. JP Zacharias (Formby)
Rd4 W 2&1 v. HG McCallum (Troon)
Rd5 W 2 Holes v. JL Black (Rhos on Sea) 
QF W 6&4 v. GLQ Henriques (Cavendish) 
SF W 3&2 v. R Sweeny Jr (Prince’s)
Final W 1 Hole v. Dr. W Tweddell (Stourbridge) 

Lawson played poorly during most of this Championship but enjoyed good fortune with a friendly draw and timely poor play from his opponents. In Rd 1 he shot 80 so was lucky to progress against a local player who knew Lytham well. McCallum three putted two late holes to hand Little a win in Rd 4. In Rd 5 the American recorded an air shot in a bunker on the 16th and in his Semi-Final he shot 40 on the front nine. Little led the Final 3Up at lunch but having returned to his hotel in the break returned late and preceded to lose the first two holes of the afternoon 18. Tweddell achieved parity by the 12th but a win with par on the 15th proved enough for the American to hold on as both players parred in.  

1935 U.S. Amateur – The Country Club, Cleveland (8 games)
Final W 4&2 v. Walter Emery

Mark Eley.

Copyright © 2014-2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

E. Harvie Ward Jr.

18th October 2019

The story of Harvie Ward is something of a rollercoaster – great golfing achievements followed by public humiliation and self destruction before thankfully redemption and a happy ending.

Ward’s place in golfing history is founded upon him being a past winner of both the Amateur (1952) and U.S. Amateur (1955 & ’56) Championships. He is just one of 13 golfers to have achieved this feat.

Edward Harvie Ward Jr. was born on 8th December 1925 in Tarboro, North Carolina. He was a charismatic man with Hollywood good looks who lived life to the full.

img_2150

Harvie Ward at the 1948 North & South Championship (Photo: The Tufts Archive)

Ward was a successful junior and quickly became one of the U.S.’s leading amateur golfers. He was a natural who seemed to find the game relatively easy. He had a smooth three quarter length swing and an impeccable short game. He played aggressively but normally in a relaxed fashion, although when the mood took him he could also reveal a steely determination to win. This made him a popular figure amongst both his peers and the public. He also enjoyed the patronage of Bobby Jones, who saw him as his heir apparent, which only added to his appeal.

Herb Warren Wind, the American golf writer, called Ward “the most talented amateur of the decade”. In addition to his majors Ward also won the 1948 North and South Amateur, the 1949 NCAA Division I Individual Championship, representing the University of North Carolina where he earned a degree in Economics, and the 1954 Canadian Amateur.

His breakthrough win came in his first Amateur Championship in 1952 where he beat his American rival Frank Stranahan 6&5. He was runner-up in 1953 with Joe Carr getting the better of him in that year’s final.

879C74F4-3CD9-4ABC-83A3-6FF62C2CE510_1_201_a

Harvie Ward with the Amateur trophy in 1952 (Photo: Old Sports Auctions) 

He played on the USA’s Walker Cup teams of 1953, 1955 and 1959 and won all six of his 36 hole games. The highlights were a 9&8 foursomes win alongside Jack Westland against John Langley and Arthur Perowne in 1953, a 6&5 singles win against Ronnie White in 1955 and another 9&8 singles win in 1959 against Guy Wolstenholme.

Ward had entered eight U.S. Amateurs before finally winning the Championship in 1955. He beat Bill Hyndman by 9&8 at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond. He then successfully defended the title in 1956 at Knollwood Club, near Chicago overcoming Charles Kocsis 5&4.

He was prevented from going for a hat trick of U.S. Amateur’s (and from playing in that year’s Walker Cup match) when his amateur status was revoked for 12 months by the USGA on 7th June 1957. Ward’s employer Eddie Lowery, coincidentally caddie for Francis Ouimet when he won the 1913 U.S. Open, became embroiled in a tax investigation which exposed the fact that he had paid the golfer expenses to support his participation in various amateur events. As Ward was the reigning U.S. Amateur champion and Lowery a current member of the USGA Executive Committee it was not a matter that could simply be ignored as many other amateur status cases seemed to be at that time.

The reinstated Ward won his first round match in the 1958 U.S. Amateur taking his total to 17 consecutive victories in the Championship. This broke W. Lawson Little’s previous record of 16 wins in 1934 and 1935 when he also won the Championship two years running. Tiger Woods hat trick of wins in 1994-95-96 set a new mark of 18 which is unlikely to ever be beaten.

Peaking in a very different era to the one we see today Ward opted for a flexible career in business that allowed him to continue playing amateur golf whenever he wished to. He was initially a stockbroker in Atlanta before moving to San Francisco where he was a car salesman.

In total Ward played in 11 Masters as an amateur from 1948-66, finishing in the top 24 four times. His best finish of 4th came in 1957. He was only one behind Sam Snead with 18 holes to play before Doug Ford shot a final round 66 to come through for a 3-shot win. Jones and Roberts were appalled at the treatment of Ward by the USGA and encouraged him to play in the 1958 Masters despite his ongoing ban from USGA events. Sadly his game wasn’t up to the challenge and he missed the cut. He wouldn’t play at Augusta again until his final Masters in 1966.

Ward competed in eight U.S. Opens; his best finish being sixth in 1955.

3BFD1685-7594-4D2C-81B6-AD532D31B39B

Suzanne and Harvie Ward with the U.S. Amateur trophy (Photo: Getty Images)

Harvie Ward was one of the four participants in ‘The Greatest Match Ever Played’, contested on 11th January 1956 at Cypress Point G.C. The match was arranged between Lowery and fellow millionaire George Coleman at a pre Crosby Pro-Am Tournament cocktail party. “My two amateurs (Ken Venturi and Ward were both ‘employed’ at his Van Etta Motors car dealership business) can beat any two pros in the world. I’ll put ten thousand dollars on it.” bragged Lowery. Coleman’s response was “I’ll get Nelson and Hogan and we’ll play tomorrow.” The full story of ‘The Match’, was told in a book by Mark Frost (2007). The Pros won by 1-hole with Hogan reportedly shooting 63 (-9), Venturi 65, Ward 67 and the by then 10 year retired Nelson 67.

The 1957 ban over his amateur status had a profound impact on Ward’s life. His friendship with Lowery, who he had trusted with his finances, collapsed and he left his role at Van Etta shortly afterwards. He started to drink heavily and became something of a womaniser both of which led to the collapse of his three year old marriage to Suzanne, the couple having also adopted two children.

He successfully sought his reinstatement as an amateur via the USGA in May 1958 but much of his golfing spark had gone and he never really rediscovered his best from. With Arnold Palmer making waves in the professional game and a dominating Jack Nicklaus now emerging on the amateur side America’s golfing eyes had started to look elsewhere for their next hero. It took Ward nearly 20 years, including two more marriages, to get over how his life had changed from the heady days of the early 1950’s and he played little golf during this period of his life.  

Ward eventually turned professional in 1974 to try and earn a living and to simply get back on track. He was 48 by then and obviously was unable to compete with the youngsters on the mini-tours let alone the PGA Tour. Instead he returned to his native North Carolina to become head golf professional at Foxfire Country Club. As he helped ordinary golfers improve he gradually started to find his feet again. He went on to work at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando at the invitation of the designer Jack Nicklaus.

Ward even started to play a few events on the PGA Senior Tour at this time. The highlight of this renaissance was his win at the 1980 Senior Open, the year before it became an official USGA Championship.

He subsequently worked at Interlachen Golf Club in Winter Park, Florida before moving back home to the Pinehurst area in 1989 where he further cemented his reputation as a teaching professional. He was named “Teacher of the Year” by the PGA in 1990 during a 15 year career at Pine Needles Lodge & Country Club in Southern Pines. Notably Payne Stewart turned to Ward after his own dad, and only coach up until that point, had died. 

Harvie Ward died at his home in Pinehurst, North Carolina on 4th September 2004, aged 78, having previously been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He was survived by his fourth wife Joanne who he had met 20 years earlier during his time in Orlando.

Ward is rightly considered one of the best amateur golfers of all time but one can not help but think that is potential was ultimately not fulfilled.

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

U.S. Amateur Championship – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

Sunday 18th August 2019

Final

Andy OGLETREE won the Final of the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship beating John AUGENSTEIN 2&1 in the 36 hole match.

IMG_1750

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 and can now look forward to a place in the U.S. Walker Cup team and playing exemptions into the U.S. Masters (where he will be paired for the first two rounds with Tiger Woods), the U.S. Open and The Open Championship.

img_1746

img_1747

U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Click here to view the live – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

ME.

_____________________________________________

Saturday 17th August 2019

Semi-Finals

Andy OGLETREE beat Cohen TROLIO 3&1 in a fairly poor quality first Semi-Final where pars on Pinehurst’s tough Course No. 2 were frequently good enough to win holes.

The second match was of a much higher standard with John AUGENSTEIN coming through against William HOLCOMB who battled to the end but was outclassed by his more experienced opponent.

Ogletree and Augenstein both gain exemptions into The Masters Tournament and U.S. Open Championship in 2020 following their wins today.

fullsizeoutput_3ac3

U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Click here to view the live – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

ME.

_____________________________________________

Friday 16th August 2019

Quarter Finals

Debutant Cohen TROLIO, who celebrated his 17th birthday last week continues to surprise at the U.S. Amateur Championship. Having drawn level on the 13th with an eagle Austin SQUIRES gifted Game 1 to his opponent by following it with three consecutive bogeys on 14, 15 and 16.

Trolio will now play 21 year old Andy OGLETREE, a fellow Mississippian and a rising senior at Georgia Tech, who overcame Spencer RALSTON in their Quarter Final. Ralston was made to pay for five bogeys on the day by the much steadier Ogletree.

John AUGENSTEIN (21) beat Palmer JACKSON 3&2 and is now the player to beat for me. A strong start saw the man from Kentucky build a 3Up lead after seven holes and he saw the game out comfortably thereafter.

In the biggest surprise of the day William HOLCOMB V, who is 21 and married, easily saw off Australia’s Karl VILIPS, who turned 18 today. Vilips who had looked so good all week simply didn’t turn up. He shot 6-over for the front nine gifting Holcomb a 4Up lead and whilst he played much better on the back side he was unable to make any inroads.

The Quarter finals were delayed for just over an hour when heavy rain caused a suspension in play at 4.32pm.

Here are the current SPWAR’s of the Semi-Finalists – Augenstein #21, #Ogletree #120, Holcomb #426 and Trolio #1,706.

On paper, from a selfish GB&I Walker Cup perspective, I would be pleased to see anyone but Augenstein win the Championship over the weekend. The champion earns an automatic place on the U.S.A. team.

fullsizeoutput_3aa7

U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Click here to view the live – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

ME.

_____________________________________________

Thursday 15th August 2019

Match Play Round of 16

An inspired Cohen TROLIO (USA) beat Alex FITZPATRICK 5&4 in their Round of 16 match. Five birdies on his front nine handed Trolio a 4Up lead and after a wobble at the start of the back nine he eventually saw out the game with another birdie on the 14th.

UPPER HALF (seedings in brackets)

Cohen Trolio (57) 🇦🇺 v. Alex FITZPATRICK (24) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 

img_1670

U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

The son of a golf professional Trolio, from West Point in Mississippi is 17 and has verbally committed to Louisiana State University for the 2021/22 academic year. Whilst relatively inexperienced and unknown he is certainly enjoying his time in North Carolina this week. Before beating Fitzpatrick this afternoon he had taken out 8th seed Trevor WERBYLO (USA) by 2 Holes in the Round of 64 and 40th seed Blake WAGONER (USA) 2&1 earlier today.

Trolio will play Austin SQUIRES (USA) in the Quarter Finals. Squires has gone from strength to strength since claiming the last Match Play spot in Wednesday morning’s play-off, today beating both Stefano MAZZOLI (ITA) and highly fancied Amercian John PAK.

The COODY brothers both lost in the Round of 16. Parker to Spencer RALSTON 6&5 and Pierceson more surprisingly to William HOLCOMB V 2&1.

Ricky CASTILO and Isaiah SALINDA, alongside Pierceson Coody, strong U.S.A. Walker Cup candidates, also lost. Castillo to John AUGENSTEIN 1Up and Salinda to Palmer JACKSON.

Australia’s Karl VILIPS continues to impress. His 3&1 win over Brad DALKE 3&1 won’t have been lost on the rest of the field.

Match Play Round of 32

Alex FITZPATRICK, now GB&I’s sole representative in the U.S. Amateur Championship, teed off against Jack TRENT (AUS) at 8.30am (1.30pm BST) in the Round of 32.

In a tight match where both players played very good golf on the tough Course No. 2 the Yorkshireman finally came through with a birdie on the 21st hole to progress.

The highlight of the game would appear to be hole 5 where Fitzpatrick is shown as having recorded an albatross 2 on the par 5 to win the hole.

UPPER HALF (seedings in brackets)

Jack TRENT (56) 🇦🇺 v. Alex FITZPATRICK (24) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 

fullsizeoutput_3a90

fullsizeoutput_3a91

U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Akshay BHATIA (USA), one of the three players pre-selected for the U.S.A. Walker Cup team fell at this hurdle. He lost 4&2 to John AUGENSTEIN (USA) who has every chance of joining him at Hoylake in three weeks time.

The two COODY brothers, Parker and Pierceson, both win and with the two of them on opposite sides of the draw an all Coody Final remains a possibility.

In the final game Steven FISK (USA) lost to Karl VILIPS (AUS) 3&1 in one of the standout matches of the Round of 32.

Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

ME.

_____________________________________________

Wednesday 14th August 2019

Match Play Round of 64

The Match Play Round of 64 games started at 10.00am (3.00pm BST) today on Course No. 2. The games involving the three leading seeds and the three play-off qualifiers were scheduled at the back of the field to ensure there was no delay in play.

It proved to be a generally disappointing day for the five GB&I players who qualified.

UPPER HALF (seedings in brackets)

Alex FITZPATRICK (24) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 v. James SUGRUE (41) 🇮🇪

img_1639

U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Alex FITZPATRICK comfortably beat an out of sorts James SUGRUE in their match. James was +7 and Alex +2 for the 14 holes played. Alex will now play Australia’s JACK TRENT in the Round of 32 tomorrow morning. Jack beat Ryan GERARD (USA) 4&3 in his Round of 64 match.

LOWER HALF (seedings in brackets)

Tom SLOMAN (3) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 v. Van HOLMGREN (62) 🇺🇸

img_1640

U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Tom SLOMAN will be disappointed to have lost to the relatively inexperienced Minnesotan Van HOLMGREN, particularly having got off to a good start. Tom was +5 for the 16 holes played whilst Holmgren recovered well after a nervous opening to be +1.

Thomas FORSTER (19) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 v. William HOLCOMB V (46) 🇺🇸

img_1641

U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Thomas FORSTER led 4Up with 8 holes to play but bogeyed 7 of them to let Texan William HOLCOMB back into the match. Holcomb found his feet after 7 holes playing the last 11 in 1-under which is always going to get the job done on Course No. 2.

Brad DALKE (27) 🇺🇸 v. Sandy SCOTT (38) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

img_1642

U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Sandy SCOTT played the best golf of all of the GB&I players who contested the Round of 64 but ended up losing to 2016 runner up Brad DALKE. Scott was Even par on his round when play ended on the 17th. The joys of match play golf.

Medalist Brandon WU (USA) lost by 2 holes to the final qualifier Austin SQUIRES (USA). Other notables exits included Austin ECKROAT (USA), Stewart HAGESTAD (USA), Chandler PHILLIPS (USA), Matthias SCHMID (GER) and Cameron YOUNG (USA).

Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

ME.

_____________________________________________

Tuesday 13th August and Wednesday 14th August 2019

Stroke Play Qualifying Round 2

Course No. 2 – 7,414 yards, par 70 – Rd 1 Stroke Average 77.14
Course No. 4 – 7,246 yards, par 70 – Rd 1 Stroke Average 73.58

Round 2 of the Stroke Play Qualifying competition was not completed on Day 2 with play suspended due to darkness at 8.00pm. This was after a late afternoon weather delay of 1 hour and 21 minutes which ultimately prevented 50 players from finishing their rounds.

The Stroke Play Qualifying resumed on Wednesday morning at 7.20am and was quickly completed.

Just 11 players from the starting field of 312 finished the 36 holes at 140 (Ev) or better highlighting the severity of the U.S.G.A.’s Pinehurst test.

Brandon WU (22) followed up an opening round of 65 (-5) with a 72 (+2) on Course No. 2 to secure medalist honours on 137 (-3).

IMG_6574

Brandon Wu (Photo: @USGA)

Six players finished at -2 including Ricky CASTILLO (18), Cooper DOSSEY (21), Jacob SOLOMON (22), Shiryu (Leo) OYO (20) of Japan, Tom SLOMAN (23) of England and Philip BARBAREE (22).

Tom SLOMAN enjoyed 5 birdies on No. 4 on his way to a 68 (-2) and an impressive tied 2nd place finish. He will enter Match Play as the 3rd seed. Tom put his success down to his caddie. “I’ve got a local caddie. He obviously knows where to hit it and I’ve just been trying to do it.” Personally, I think his good play is more likely due to his newly acquired Pinehurst straw boater hat !

Tom Sloman (Photo: USGA / Michael Reaves)

Thomas FORSTER, from Oundle in England, shot a 69 (-1) on No. 4 to secure his passage to the Match Play stage. Forster, who is a rising senior at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee, has used his knowledge of U.S. courses to good affect so far.

Alex FITZPATRICK battled hard on Course No. 2 to secure his place in Match Play with a 74 (+4) on Tuesday. He finished alongside Forster in tied 19th.

Our later starters in Round 2 were impacted by the deteriorating conditions and subsequent weather delay.

Sandy SCOTT shot a back nine 40 on Course No. 2 on his way to a 76 (+6) but thankfully had enough in the bank after his strong opening round to make it through in tied 28th.

The fates of James SUGRUE and Ben JONES were not decided until Wednesday morning.

Sugrue finished Day 2 on +4, which at that point was right on the top 64 and ties cut mark, with two holes to play and having double bogeyed the 15th on Course No. 2. as light faded. Undaunted he came out the following morning and proceeded to birdie 17 and par 18 to comfortably qualify on +3, also in tied 28th.

Jones looked like an easy qualifier all day but sadly unwound coming down the stretch. He sandwiched two birdies on 10 and 18 with 7 dropped shots to shoot 40 and put himself under pressure with a +5 total. Thankfully, it quickly became clear on Wednesday morning that he was likely to get a reprieve with the top 64 and ties cut quickly drifting out to his score.

The 27 players, including Ben JONES, who finished tied 62nd were therefore thrown the lifeline of a 27-for-3 sudden death play-off. It started on Course No. 4 once all of the scores had been collated. Van HOLMGREEN (USA) and Chad SEWELL (USA) birdied the par 4 1st to quickly earn the 62nd and 63rd Match Play seeds. With 7 players eliminated the remaining 18, still including Jones, progressed to the long par 4 2nd. This hole saw a further 5 players eliminated. Jones and 12 others moved onto the par 5 17th. Unfortunately Ben was not able to match the three birdies that were recorded so had to drop out at this point. Austen SQUIRES (USA) went on to par the 18th and secure the final Match Play spot. The play-off took around 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete.

The other GB&I players all missed the cut. Ben SCHMIDT (+6) T89, Euan WALKER (+6) T89, Conor GOUGH (+8) T120, Conor PURCELL (+16) T234 and Caolan RAFFERTY (+16) T234 all missed the cut.

img_1630

U.S. Amateur Championship Stroke Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Other notable players to miss out on the Match Play were Quade CUMMINS (USA – Walker Cup hopeful), Cole HAMMER (USA – World No. 1), Daniel HILLIER (NZL), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Kevin O’CONNELL (USA – 2018 Mid-Amateur champion), Trent PHILLIPS (USA – Walker Cup hopeful), Jovan REBULA (RSA – 2018 Amateur champion), Alex SMALLEY (USA – Walker Cup hopeful), Chun An YU (CTP).

Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

Monday 12th August 2019

Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1

Course No. 2 – 7,414 yards, par 70 – Rd 1 Stroke Average 77.05
Course No. 4 – 7,246 yards, par 70 – Rd 1 Stroke Average 73.14

U.S.A’s Brandon WU (22), a recent graduate of Stanford University, leads the Stroke Play Qualifying competition having shot a new course record 65 (-5) on Course No. 4.

This was a little surprising as his preparation for the U.S. Amateur could hardly have been worse. He and Stewart HAGESTAD (USA) represented the U.S.A. at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, last week which finished on Sunday. As such they only arrived at Pinehurst this morning with the U.S.G.A. arranging late tee times for both of them. “I tried to manage my sleep as well as I could,” said Wu, “I slept great on the two flights up here and then took a quick nap before I teed off for about two hours. I actually felt pretty good.”

HAGESTAD, already selected for the U.S.A. Walker cup team, didn’t fair quite so well in Round 1. His 73 (+3) on Course No. 2 leaves him tied 102nd and with work to do on the easier Course No. 4 tomorrow.

The two other U.S.A. Walker Cup W.A.G.R. picks Akshay BHATIA and Cole HAMMER are also far from certain to make match play. Bhatia 72 +2 (No.2) is tied 73rd whilst Hammer 75 +5 (No. 2) is tied 152nd after 18 holes.

Wu holds a one-stroke lead over Trevor WERBYLO (21), a junior at the University of Arizona, and Palmer JACKSON (18), an incoming freshman at the University of Notre Dame, who both shot 66’s (-4) on Course No. 4.

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) is leading the group of eleven Great British & Irish (GB&I) players who are competing. His 67 (-3) on Course No. 4 where he teed off on the 9th hole, included six birdies. Talking after his round Scott said, “I felt like I got off to a little bit of a shaky start. I made a bogey on the second and I had some nerves going through the first few holes, but I managed to bounce back with a birdie (on the par 3 11th). I had three birdies on 15, 16 and 17 which gave me a bit of momentum. I managed to just trust a lot of the numbers that me and my caddie were going with and hit a lot of good approaches.” He finished a much steadier front nine with two birdies on the par 4 7th and 8th.

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG), who reached the Quarter Finals last year, shot a 68 (-2) on Course No. 4 to lie 8th after Round 1. Five birdies and an eagle on the par 4 16th hole were offset by two double bogeys and a bogey. “I played nicely, I had a few bumps in the road, but overall I sort of stuck it out and was patient and waited for openings to appear and luckily took them and yeah, finished off nicely. So pretty pleased.”

Ben JONES (ENG) recorded four birdies on his way to a 69 (-1). He is tied 19th.

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) arguably had the best round by a GB&I player. His even par 70 on Course No. 2 was one of only seven rounds that achieved par or better on this challenging layout. He is tied 28th.

Amateur Champion, James SUGRUE (IRL) is also nicely placed after a 70 (Ev) on Course No. 4 and sits alongside Sloman in tied 28th.

The table below shows how all of the 11 Great British & Irish GB&I players performed, along with their tee times and courses for Round 2. Many found Course No. 2 a tough nut to crack and will be looking to bounce back on Course no. 4 today.

img_1625.jpg

U.S. Amateur Championship Stroke Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Click here to view the full – U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Scores

ME

____________________________________________

Friday 9th August 2019 

The 119th U.S. Amateur Championship starts on Monday 12th August at the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in North Carolina.

The Championship is being played on Pinehurst’s No. 2 and No. 4 courses.

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.

Competition Format

On Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th August all of the competitiors will play 36-holes of stroke play, one round on Course No. 2 and the other on Course No. 4.

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 Course No. 2 between Wednesday 14th and Saturday 17th, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 18th August. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.

The first round of the Final will be played over Course No. 4 with the second round utilising Course No. 2. This will be the first time that two different courses have been used for the 36 hole match.

2019 Field

There were 7,191 entries this year, each player paying the $175 entry fee.

96 36 hole Sectional Qualifying events were held in July across the U.S.A., with one each in Canada and Mexico too. The introduction of a European Sectional Qualifier, like the U.S.G.A. stage at Walton Heath for the U.S. Open Championship, remains long overdue in my opinion.

A final field of 312 players from 27 different countries (2018: 24) will contest this year’s Championship. 246 players are from U.S.A. with 66 coming from the Rest of the World.

Jay BROOKS (USA) is the youngest competitor at 14 and Sean KNAPP (USA) the oldest at 57. The average age of the field is 22.1 years.

2015 U.S.A. Walker Cup player Mike McCOY (56), the second oldest player, will be making his 20th appearance in the Championship. His son Nathaniel McCOY (29), also a reinstated amateur, is also playing this week.

There are 11 GB&I players competing. There were 7 in 2018, 9 in 2017 and 11 in 2016 at Pebble Beach, Riviera and Oakland Hills respectively.

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

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) – 2018 U.S. Amateur Quarter Finalist

Tom FORSTER (ENG) – Qualifier (1st Alternate) from Little Rock, Arkansas (22/07/19)

Conor GOUGH (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Ben JONES (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Connor PURCELL (IRE) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

James SUGRUE (IRE) – Winner of the Amateur Championship 2019

Euan WALKER (SCO) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Earlier this week Joe PAGDIN (ENG) qualified for a place in the field based on his WAGR of 30th as at 7/8/19. However, having already committed to this week’s Boys’ Home Internationals and next week’s Boys’ Amateur Championship he understandably declined the opportunity.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) narrowly missed out on a place. He rose to 46th in the WAGR this week but was the sixth new player, not already exempt, to move into the top 50. Only the top 5 are eligible with declined places, such as Pagdin’s, falling into the hands of Qualifying Alternates. Garrett Rank (CAN), the surprise winner of last week’s Western Amateur, moved up to 45th in the WAGR this week to secure the last of these final exemptions. The Points Average difference between him and Jake being just 0.5857.

2019 Stroke Play Qualifying

The draw for the 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifying competition was made on Wednesday 7th August and can be viewed here – U.S. Amateur Tee Times

Play will start at 7.15am (BST 12.15pm). As North Carolina is 5 hours behind us the action will take place place during our afternoons and evenings.

Host Courses

The Pinehurst Resort – Courses No. 2 and No. 4 (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Pinehurst Resort Course No. 2
7,519 yards (maximum), Par 70
Opened in 1907.
Designed by Donald Ross (1907). Renovated by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (2010).

No. 2 is the primary Championship course of the nine that make up the Pinehurst Resort. Donald Ross worked on his masterpiece until he died in 1948. It is known for its crowned, undulating greens and has been returned to its original state by Coore and Crenshaw with huge areas of turf removed and a more natural look re-introduced. There are 111 bunkers and no rough on the course now.

This will be the third time that No. 2 has been the lead course for the U.S. Amateur. The previous stagings were in 1962 and 2008 with Labron Harris Jr. and Danny Lee the champions.

Pinehurst Resort, Course No. 2, Hole 17  (Photo: Pinehurst.com)

Pinehurst Resort Course No. 4
7,196 yards (maximum), Par 70.
Opened in 1919.
Designed by Gil Hanse (2018); Designed originally by Donald Ross (1919)

Pinehurst Resort, Course No. 4, Hole 6 (Photo: Pinehurst.com)

Weather Forecast (Updated – at 8.00am 12th August 2019)

Hot and sunny weather is forecast with the possibility of some delays in play due to late afternoon thundery showers.

Stroke Play Qualifying
Mon 12th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (SE). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 33°C.
Tues 13th August – Sunny. Wind 10mph (SW). Temp. Min 23°C. / Max. 35°C.

Match Play Stage
Weds 14th August – Sunny, PM Showers. Wind 9mph (SW). Temp. Min 21°C. / Max. 35°C.
Thurs 15th August – Sunny, PM Showers. Wind 7mph (W). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 31°
Fri 16th August – Sunny. Wind 7mph (NW). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 32°C.
Sat 17th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (SE). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 30°C.
Sun 18th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (NE). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 32°C.

UK Television Coverage

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

Prizes

The 2019 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 U.S. Open to be staged at Winged Foot Golf Club;

and assuming they remain amateur,

c) An exemption to play in the 2020 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club;

d) An invitation to play in the 2020 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club;

e) An exemption to play in the 2020 – 2029 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.

img_9870

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.

2018 U.S. Amateur Championship

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.

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

img_9836

Viktor Hovland (Photo: USGA)

From a GB&I perspective Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) did superbly well eventually losing in the Quarter Finals to Cole HAMMER (USA) 3&2. Harry HALL (ENG) and Eoin LEONARD (IRE) also qualified for the match play stage but both lost in the Rd of 64, to Stewart HEGASTAD (USA) by 1 Hole and Kristoffer REITAN (NOR) by 6&4 respectively.

In the preceding stroke play competition, played at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill, 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. 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 missed the Top 64 match play cut.

Click here to view the full – 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship Results

_____________________________________________

U.S. Amateur Championship History

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and this will be its 119th 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

10-16 August 2020 – Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Oregon

9-15 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

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.