ERIN, Wis. – It’s tough to argue that the Peter Uihlein-Dylan Frittelli match and the Patrick Cantlay-Russell Henley showdown aren’t deserving of most of the attention Thursday at the U.S. Amateur. But while these are waged, there is another match to put on the radar in Round 2.
Lee Bedford will face two-time U.S. Junior Championship winner Jordan Spieth. In the round of 64, Bedofrd easily defeated Will Collins, 6 and 5. Spieth, on the other hand, had a battle with Jade Scott, but was able to advance, 2 and 1.
Spieth, who will be a freshman this fall at Texas, is another candidate for a potential Walker Cup spot. With fellow junior golfer Patrick Rodgers on the team, there is some debate as to whether there is room for another “youngster” on the squad.
Bedford started the summer for runner-up honors at the Sunnehanna Amateur, tied for fourth at the Cardinal Amateur, was a quarterfinalist at the North & South Amateur and finished fourth at the Southeastern Amateur.
If Bedford could score a win over the highly regarded Jordan Spieth, then perhaps he may start to get a little more consideration. The winner of this match seemingly ...
ERIN, Wis. – When the U.S. Amateur was held last year at Chambers Bay, Andrew Putnam was considered a favorite. As a resident of University Place, Wash., where Chambers Bay is located, Putnam played the course many times.
However, that local knowledge wasn’t quite the advantage that he might have expected. In fact, Putnam says it might have been a disadvantage after the U.S. Golf Association had set up the Amateur.
“The course went through a 180-degree turn,” said Putnam, a recent Pepperdine graduate. “I expected to play one course, but ended up playing an entirely different one.”
Putnam failed to advance to match play at the 2010 U.S. Amateur, struggling with an opening-round 84 before a 1-under 71 the next day at the nearby Home Course, the other stroke-play site. He tied for 155th.
This week at Erin Hills, Putnam has built upon a summer of solid play. He shot 70-68--138 to tie for 13th and easily advance into match play. Putnam says it has been better to visit Wisconsin with hardly any knowledge of the course.
“I think it’s better to not have expectations for a golf course,” Putnam said. “Everyone’s on a ...
ERIN, Wis. – The second round of match play at the U.S. Amateur has a few matches where more is on the line than just advancing to the next round.
NCAA individual champion John Peterson will be facing Chattanooga senior Stephan Jaeger. Jaeger upset Walker Cup hopeful Blayne Barber, 3 and 2, in the first round.
With Barber, U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Corbin Mills and Andrew Yun falling in the first round, an opportunity has emerged for Peterson if he can continue to make a run. Peterson has not received a pick for the Walker Cup.
Chattanooga head coach Mark Guhne is Stephan Jaeger’s caddie this week, and according to Guhne, Jaeger is gaining more and more confidence each day.
“He’s realizing how good a player he really is,” Guhne said. “Playing John will be a great challenge, just like playing Blayne was.”
An interesting note? In April of this year, Jaeger and his fellow Mocs traveled to Baton Rouge for the LSU Invitational. Peterson tied for third on his home course, but Jaeger won the tournament by seven shots over Iowa’s Vince India and was eight shots better than ...
ERIN, Wis. – Coming into this week’s U.S. Amateur Championship at Erin Hills, Harris English already had his ticket stamped for a trip to Scotland next month as a member of the U.S. Walker Cup team. He was one of the first four players named to this year’s squad.
Andrew Yun, on the other hand, came into the event as one of many players hoping for one of the final three selections that would complete America’s 10-man team.
He knew it would take a good showing this week to keep those hopes alive. And when Yun drew English for his first-round match, he knew a victory would probably have made a big impression with USGA selectors.
But those hopes were dashed as English, a recent Georgia graduate, defeated Yun, a junior at Stanford, 3 and 1, to advance to the second round.
“He beat me fair and square,” said Yun, who was 4 under in the match. “That was one of the best matches I’ve ever played.”
Still, he knew his chances for a Walker Cup spot were fading.
“I’m probably on the outside looking in,” Yun said. “There ...
ERIN, Wis. – Most players at the U.S. Amateur dream of becoming PGA Tour players. Andrew Putnam has one on his bag.
Putnam’s older brother Michael is caddying this week. He’s sidelined from the Tour with a fractured wrist, so he’s helping Andrew with the largest week of his amateur career. Andrew, who completed his collegiate career at Pepperdine in June, has two goals this week: win and earn a spot on the U.S. Walker Cup team.
The latter can be accomplished without the former, though a win would guarantee his inclusion on the U.S. squad that will play Great Britain & Ireland on Sept. 10-11 at Royal Aberdeen (Scotland) Golf Club. Putnam, who easily advanced to match play this week, is a leading candidate to earn one of the final three spots on the Walker Cup team, which will be named at week’s end. Michael Putnam played in the 2005 Walker Cup.
“It can only help in keeping me comfortable and confident on the course,” Andrew said of having his brother on the bag. There’s another benefit to having the 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pound Michael on the bag.
“His size ...
ERIN, Wis. – When the 111th U.S. Amateur Championship commenced Monday at Erin Hills and Blue Mound Golf Club, the starting field of 312 players contained 41 mid-amateurs - those 25 years and older.
By Wednesday afternoon, after 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying, only two of the 64 players on the match-play bracket were mid-amateurs.
The oldest was Patrick Christovich of New Orleans. The other mid-am was Bobby Leopold, 26, of Cranston, R.I.
Beau Hossler, 16, of Mission Viejo, Calif., was the youngest player advancing into match play.
The average age of the 64 was 20.7.
• • •
In spite of strong, windy conditions, a weather delay of nearly four hours Tuesday and a fog delay Wednesday, there was some impressive scoring in stroke-play qualifying.
Led by medalist Gregor Main, the field made a major assault on par over the 2 1/2 days it took to complete 36 holes.
Main shot rounds of 65-67 for a 10-under 132 total, and 58 other players broke par for the two rounds. Main tied the previous low 36-hole score of 132 (which was 12 under) shot by Hank Kim in 1994 at TPC Sawgrass (Stadium and Valley courses ...
The two semifinalists who advance out of the upper half of the U.S. Amateur bracket definitely can say they earned their spots in the Final Four. Consider the names that reside on this half of the 64-player bracket: medalist Gregor Main, Harris English, Andrew Yun, Peter Uihlein, Eugene Wong, Scott Langley, Blayne Barber, John Peterson, Chris Williams, Russell Henley, Patrick Cantlay, Cory Whitsett and Tom Lewis.
Consider these potential second-round matches:
• Gregor Main vs. Harris English/Andrew Yun
• Blayne Barber vs. John Peterson
• Russell Henley vs. Patrick Cantlay
• Cory Whitsett vs. Tom Lewis
Here’s a breakdown of this bracket by the numbers:
6: Competitors in the upcoming Walker Cup. English, Uihlein, Williams, Henley and Cantlay will represent the U.S., while Lewis will play for Great Britain & Ireland. Main, Yun, Barber and Peterson are among the leading competitors for the final three spots on the U.S. team.
5: Players who’ve made the cut in majors. Cantlay and Henley made the cut at this year’s U.S. Open. Uihlein and Lewis played the weekend at this year’s Open Championship. Henley and Langley tied for 16th at the 2010 U.S. Open.
4: First-team All-Americans - Cantlay ...
ERIN, Wis. – A popular item this week at the U.S. Amateur is the Erin Hills bucket hat. In fact, it was so popular, it sold out by Wednesday.
It’s been a while since a hat was this popular at a U.S. Amateur – you might have to go all the way back to Pumpkin Ridge in 1996, when Tiger Woods was shown on a local TV live shot wearing a black U.S. Amateur hat that he continued to wear every day as he mowed through the field and won his third U.S. Am title.
Woods turned pro the following week, but even today you can buy that hat at the Pumpkin Ridge pro shop.
ERIN, Wis. – Scott Langley needed to make a statement at the U.S. Amateur if he wanted to earn the Walker Cup spot that once seemed a certainty. He accomplished that by completing a 63 Wednesday at Blue Mound Country Club.
His 7-under round guarantees the recent Illinois grad will make match play. Langley finished the U.S. Amateur's stroke-play portion at 5-under 137 (74-63) and will finish in the top 10 when it concludes. He'll likely need to win a couple matches to make the Walker Cup team, but it's better than the alternative: missing the cut here would've likely marked the end of his amateur career.
After shooting 74 Monday at Erin Hills, Langley had eight birdies and a single bogey at the 6,667-yard, Seth Raynor-designed Blue Mound Country Club, which hosted the 1933 PGA Championship won by Gene Sarazen.
“This is a course kind of like the ones I grew up on in St. Louis,” Langley said. “It feels very much like home, and it’s in great shape.”
Langley played just 10 holes Tuesday because of a lengthy rain delay. He played those holes in 5 under. He completed his second ...
ERIN, Wis. – When the morning wave of players finally completed the weather-delayed second round of stroke play at the U.S. Amateur at almost 5:30 p.m., three players topped the leaderboard at 7-under 135.
Two of those leaders are not unknowns in the world of amateur and junior golf.
Beau Hossler, with a 4-under 66 at Blue Mound Golf Club, and Blayne Barber, with a 3-under 69 at Erin Hills Golf Club, were not big surprises.
Hossler, just 16 years old and a junior in high school, competed in the 2009 U.S. Am, qualified this summer for the U.S. Open, was qualifying medalist at this year’s U.S. Junior and was a 2010 AJGA first-team All-American.
Barber was a second-team All-American last season as a junior at Auburn and has been mentioned throughout the year as a possible candidate for this year’s U.S. Walker Cup team.
Then there was Ben Geyer, a junior at St. Mary’s in California, whose resume hardly matched those of the other leaders. But after a most impressive 6-under 66, Geyer had guaranteed himself a spot in the 64-player match-play portion of the championship.
“I came in here ...
ERIN, Wis. – For a course that is only 5 years old, Erin Hills understandably wouldn't yield many historical anecdotes. However, the site of the U.S. Amateur still offers some interesting facts, despite its relative youth. After scouring the course in search of interesting facts and stories, here’s what I came up with:
During a course renovation in 2009, the grounds crew laid out 24 1/2 miles of sod.
The caddie barn is, in fact, a barn. Original owner Bob Lang was driving through Iowa when he stumbled upon a random barn. He had to have it, so he bought the building and had it disassembled to be trucked back to Wisconsin.
This week, spectators are parking on an open piece of land on the golf course, then being shuttled to the course. Before the land was used for a parking lot, it was home to four houses. Erin Hills did not want any houses on the golf course, so one by one they were purchased and moved off of the property. Through the spring of 2009, the director of golf resided in the last house that remained. In the fall of 2009, new owner Andrew Ziegler ...
ERIN, Wis. – I’m here at Erin Hills Golf Club (and enjoying the “cool” mid-70 degree temperatures) for the 111th U.S. Amateur Championship. Contrary to what some of my co-workers may think, I have not covered every one of those U.S. Amateurs.
However, there is no one who can come close to my current streak. This year marks my 25th consecutive U.S. Amateur.
So consider this, of the 312 players here to start the week, only 41 fall into the category of mid-amateur (25 years or older). That’s 13 percent of the field.
It also means that 87 percent of the field was not even born when I covered my first U.S. Am. What does it all mean? Let’s just say I’m a veteran at this championship.
Speaking of age, at 52, Randy Haag of Orinda, Calif., is the oldest player in this year’s field while Danny Hopel, who turned 15 on Monday’s first day of stroke play, is the youngest.
Also, there are 42 states represented at this year’s championship with California having the most at 47.
In addition to the U.S., there are 15 other countries represented ...
Riviera Country Club and the U.S. Golf Association are in discussions about the course in Pacific Palisades, Calif., hosting the 2017 U.S. Amateur, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the talks.
The 2017 Walker Cup is scheduled for nearby Los Angeles Country Club. The proximity of the championships would make it convenient for the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup teams to compete in the Amateur while showcasing three classic designs in a rare USGA foray into Southern California. Bel-Air Country Club is the proposed secondary site for the ’17 Amateur’s stroke play.
Hosting the U.S. Amateur also would bolster Riviera’s chances of securing another U.S. Open. The club, site of Ben Hogan’s 1948 Open victory and the annual Northern Trust Open on the PGA Tour, has made no secret of its Open aspirations.
Though no formal agreement has been reached, sources say discussions are in advanced stages and that the USGA is in favor of the move because of its ability to link the Amateur and Walker Cup.
Riviera (No. 20 in Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses ranking), Los Angeles (15) and Bel-Air (79), all designed by William P ...
The Great Britain & Ireland team will be selected this coming week after a summer of intense competition. This week’s Home Internationals, which finish today, ultimately will determine the side that faces the U.S. in the Walker Cup on Sept. 10-11 at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland.
Only captain Nigel Edwards and his team of selectors know who will make the 10-man squad, but it seems certain that a few spots are guaranteed, with many up for grabs.
Let’s start with the definite choices:
Pencil Tom Lewis, Paul Cutler and Michael Stewart onto the team. They are in.
Lewis took the silver medal as leading amateur in the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s and won this year’s St. Andrews Links Trophy. The native of Welwyn Garden City, England, could have been forgiven for turning pro after the Open – that would have been my advice – but has stayed amateur to make the Walker Cup. He’s probably the strongest amateur in British and Irish golf right now.
Cutler won this year’s Irish Amateur Closed Championship and last year’s Lytham Trophy and sparkled in the recent Irish Open on the European Tour, finishing T-21. He’s ...
BARRINGTON, R.I. - It happened on No. 7 tee, No. 13 tee, and had Demi Runas not been so nervous when she teed off on the first extra hole in her third-round match against Lisa McCloskey, it would have happened there, too.
Runas has an odd superstition when she plays a round of golf that makes much more sense after her explanation. To the UC-Davis junior, if there are three golf balls in a sleeve and 18 holes in a round, it just makes sense that all of those balls should be used. Thus, Runas switches her golf ball every six holes in each competitive round she plays.
Until Thursday afternoon.
"I forgot," she said of playing the 19th hole with the same ball with which she had holed out at 18. "In that moment I was like, 'Just keep going.'"
After McCloskey put her drive out of bounds in a parking lot right of the fairway, Runas knew all she had to do was play it safe - get on the green at the 379-yard par 4 and two putt to end the match in 19 holes. She did, earning her return ticket to Rhode Island Country Club for Friday ...
Recent Amateur Blog Videos
Join Asher in the Southern Hills pro shop stock room to see what treasures it holds.