U.S. Amateur: Junior golfers shine, show they belong at Pinehurst

USGA/Chris Keane

U.S. Amateur: Junior golfers shine, show they belong at Pinehurst

Amateur

U.S. Amateur: Junior golfers shine, show they belong at Pinehurst

By

After starting with 312 players in the field, advancing to the quarterfinals of the 119th U.S. Amateur is a feat worthy of celebration.

For nearly half of the final eight players still standing at Pinehurst, the celebration must be toasted with a non-alcoholic beverage.

Palmer Jackson, 18, and 17 year olds Cohen Trolio and Karl Vilips outlasted a loaded field of players with extensive match play experience in Thursday’s morning Round of 32 and afternoon Round of 16. Ricky Castillo, the No. 2 seed, advanced to the Round of 16 before losing to Vanderbilt’s John Augenstein 1 up.

An incoming freshman at Notre Dame, No. 26 seed Palmer Jackson from Murrysville, Pa., defeated Stanford graduate and San Francisco native Isaiah Salinda, who helped lead his Cardinal to the 2019 NCAA Championship title with a 3-0 match play record.

“I think there’s a lot of junior golfers right now that are very competitive,” said Jackson, who’s named after golf legend Arnold Palmer. “It’s pretty cool to see that the younger guys can compete with the older guys, and the AJGA Tour and even the U.S. Junior, events like that, really prepare us as junior golfers for great big events like this.”

U.S. AMATEUR: Match play results | Photo gallery

A 2021 LSU commit and West Point, Miss. native, Trolio took an early 2 up lead against Wake Forest sophomore Alex Fitzpatrick, whose older brother is professional golfer Matthew Fitzpatrick, and never looked back en route to a 5 and 4 victory. Despite Fitzpatrick’s success in the event as a quarterfinalist at the 2018 U.S. Amateur, Trolio wasn’t afraid or lacking in confidence.

“I’m at home always doing what I know is good enough to beat anybody I play,” said Trolio. “If I step on the tee with anybody, I’m not scared of them. I’m here to beat on them, and they know that, I think.”

Vilips, of Perth, Australia and a 2020 Stanford commit, took down Brad Dalke, a Norman, Ok., native, Oklahoma graduate and member of the Sooners’ 2017 national championship team.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home