Top 10 amateur storylines of the decade: Major feats and new frontiers

Augusta National/The Masters

Top 10 amateur storylines of the decade: Major feats and new frontiers

Amateur

Top 10 amateur storylines of the decade: Major feats and new frontiers

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The excitement in amateur golf can sometimes go overlooked. It rarely gets the headlines or the TV time that professional golf or even college competition gets. Despite that, the stories of underdogs, comebacks, record rounds and breakthroughs are seemingly never-ending.

The following list represents the most impactful moments in the game over the past decade, from players who accomplished meaningful things to opportunities that changed the amateur landscape forever.

10. The USGA calendar gets a makeover

T.J. Vogel with the U.S. Amateur Public Links trophy in 2012. (Photo by USGA)

In 2013, the USGA announced that it would do something it had never done before: Retire a championship. The following year, the U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links were played for the final time. It was a big deal, considering that a Masters invitation was on the line for the winner of the APL. The hallmark of the Public Links championships was the opportunity they provided for the “everyman” golfer. Part of the USGA’s reasoning in ending them was the feeling that the tournaments ceased to serve their original purpose of creating opportunities for true public golfers.

The Public Links were replaced by the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball in 2015, tournaments played in the late spring that overlap the college postseason.

A side effect of the Public Links retirement that’s worth noting is that it becomes that much harder for a player to win multiple USGA titles in one season. Eun-jeong Seong was the last player to do that in 2016 when she won the U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Women’s Amateur. For five of the eight players who have won multiple USGA titles in one season, a Public Links title accounted for one of those wins.

It’s worth noting that in 2017, the USGA also retired the State Team Championship, which had been played biennially since 1995.

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