Younts, Bowman begin play at U.S. Amateur on Monday
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – UNCG sophomore Matt Younts and alumn Will Bowman will begin play Monday at the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Bowman's opening round will be played on Chambers Bay beginning at 8:15 a.m. PT, while Younts will tee it up at 1:10 p.m. local time on the Home Course.
Bowman and Younts tied for second at a sectional qualifier last month in Advance, N.C. with a 36-hole score of six-under 138 to earn spots in the championship field. Younts, a Stokesdale, N.C., native, was the leader at the midway point with an opening-round 66. He carded a 72 in the second round to earn a spot in the field. Bowman, a native of Greensboro who completed his eligibility last season, carded identical rounds of 69 to earn his bid.
This year's championship marks the first time the U.S. Amateur has been played at Chambers Bay, which will also host the 2015 U.S. Open. It will be the third municipally owned course to host a U.S. Open when the tournament visits in 2015.
Only eight months after Chambers Bay opened for public play in 2007, the USGA announced it was taking the 2010 U.S. Amateur and 2015 U.S. Open to the facility. The course, measuring at 7,742 yards, received rave reviews, including being named the best new public course for 2008 by Golf Digest magazine. It is the longest course in USGA history, surpassing Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn., which measured at 7,473 yards for the 2006 U.S. Amateur.
A total of 312 players will begin play on Monday morning representing 15 countries and 40 states. The players range from the age of 15 to 58. A total of 14 former USGA champions are in the field.
Chambers Bay will play to a par of 36-35—71. The second stroke-play course, The Home Course, will be set up at 7,420 yards and will play to a par of 36-36—72. Players will play 36 holes of stroke play over Monday and Tuesday – 18 holes on each course. The field will be cut to 64 for the stroke play phase, which begins on Wednesday. The championship match will be 36 holes on Sunday.
Chambers Bay was built entirely on fescue grass and features exactly one tree on the entire layout. Created from a former gravel mine, the course features wide fairways, large dunes and the kind of wispy rough one might encounter on the famous links venues in Scotland and Ireland. The course is designed to play firm and fast, a philosophy the USGA adheres to in its championship setups.
The Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in this country - one day older than the U.S. Open. Except for an eight-year period, from 1965-72, when it was stroke play, the Amateur has been a match-play championship.
Over the years, as interest in the game grew and the number of quality players increased, it became necessary to establish a national handicapping system to determine who was eligible to compete in the Amateur. The USGA's first national handicap list, which was published for the 1912 Championship, was the forerunner of the present-day USGA Golf Handicap System.
Throughout its history, the U.S. Amateur has been the most coveted of all amateur titles. Many of the great names of professional golf, such as Gene Littler, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, Jerry Pate, Mark O'Meara, Hal Sutton, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, grace the Havemeyer Cup.
It was, however, longtime amateur Robert T. Jones Jr. who first attracted media coverage and spectator attendance at the Amateur Championship. Jones captured the championship five times (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930). His 1930 victory was a stunning moment in golf history when, at Merion Cricket Club in Ardmore, Pa., Jones rounded out the Grand Slam, winning the four major American and British championships in one year.
Sixty-six years later, in 1996, Tiger Woods of Cypress, Calif., attracted similar interest and enthusiasm when he won a record third straight U.S. Amateur at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.