Eight Australians chasing US Amateur glory

The 118th US Amateur Championship gets underway tomorrow at the Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hills in Pebble Beach, California.

Pebble Beach Golf Links will be set up at 6469 metres and will play to a par of 71 and will host all match-play rounds. The stroke-play co-host course, Spyglass Hill Golf Course will be set up at 6400 metres and will play to a par of 72.

Pebble Beach Pebble Beach (Credit: USGA)

A field of 312 players will play 18 holes of stroke play on 13-14 August, one round on each of the two qualifying courses, after which the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers. Six rounds of match play begin on 15th August and the championship concludes with a 36-hole championship match on 19th August.

The last occasion the championship was held at Pebble Beach was in 1999 when David Gusset defeated Sun Yoo Kim, 9&8.

The field has 43 of the 50 top-ranked amateurs in the world competing from 23 countries including United States (261), Canada (10), Australia (8) and England (5).

Charlie Dann, Shae Wools-Cobb, Dylan Perry, Zach Murray, David Micheluzzi, Blake Windred, Nathan Barbieri and Min Woo Lee all will be flying the Aussie flag.

Among the notable exemptions are Jovan Rebula (nephew of four-time major winner Ernie Els), Hurly Long, who carded a course-record 61 at Pebble Beach in last year’s Carmel Cup, Noah Goodwin the 2017 US Junior Amateur champion, Michael Thorbjornsen the 2018 US Junior Amateur champion, Matthew Jordan a member of the GB&I Walker Cup team, and Scott Harvey a US Walker Cup team member.

Lee, 20, is competing in his third consecutive US Amateur and fifth USGA championship and will spearhead the Aussie challenge. He defeated Noah Goodwin, 2 and 1, in the 36-hole final to win the 2016 US Junior Amateur.

Lee and the other Aussies will be looking to repeat Curtis Luck’s win at Oakland Hills Country Club in 2016 after Luck became just the second Aussie to win the title following Nick Flanagan’s victory in 2003, also at Oakland Hills Country Club. Oliver Goss made the final in 2013 at The Country Club.

The average age of the field is 22 years with American Paul Simpson the oldest at 67 years and Gaven Lane the youngest at 14 years.

The US Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in America, one day older than the US Open. Throughout its history, the US Amateur has arguably become the most prestigious of all amateur titles.

Many of the great names of professional golf, such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Littler, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, Jerry Pate, Mark O’Meara, Hal Sutton, Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have won the title.

The Champion receives an exemption for next year’s US Open and The Open Championship and a likely invitation to the next Masters tournament. They also receive an exemption to next year’s US Amateur, which will be played at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Village of Pinehurst.