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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (Aug. 10, 2014) – ETSU rising senior Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) gears up for the 114th U.S. Amateur Championship, which begins Monday morning at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
A field of 312 golfers will play 18 holes of stroke play on Aug. 11 and 12, after which the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers. Six rounds of match play begin on Aug. 13 and the championship concludes with a scheduled 36-hole championship match on Aug. 17.
Pugh tees off Monday at 1:25 p.m. from the Riverside Course (7,381-yard, par-72), while going out at 8:30 a.m. in Tuesday’s second round from the Highlands Course (7,428-yard, par-71).
Pugh is making his second straight appearance in the U.S. Amateur Championship as he reached the Round of 64 last year at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
Twenty-two countries make up the field of 312 and 69 golfers played in the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship. The field also features eight USGA Champions, seven 2014 U.S. Open competitors, and two 2014 British Open participants.
Golf Channel and NBC will broadcast 10 hours of golf from the 2014 U.S. Amateur beginning Wednesday at 4 p.m. Click here for full broadcast schedule.
HISTORY OF U.S. AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP (Credit USGA.org)
The winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship receives many benefits including: a gold medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the ensuing year, an exemption from local and sectional qualifying for the next U.S. Open, an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Amateurs, an exemption from qualifying for the next British Open Championship, and a likely invitation to the 2015 Masters.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in America, one day older than the U.S. Open. Other than an eight-year period from 1965-1972, when it was contested at stroke play, the Amateur has been a match-play championship.
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 Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Littler, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, Jerry Pate, Mark O'Meara, Hal Sutton, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, grace the Havemeyer Trophy.
It was, however, legendary amateur Robert T. Jones Jr. who first attracted national media coverage and sparked spectator attendance at the U.S. Amateur. Jones captured the championship five times (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928 and 1930). His 1930 victory was a landmark moment in golf history when, at Merion Cricket Club in Ardmore, Pa., Jones completed the Grand Slam, winning the four major American and British championships in one year.
Sixty-six years later, in 1996, Woods attracted similar interest and enthusiasm at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore., when he won a record third straight U.S. Amateur, having registered 18 consecutive match-play victories. In 1994, Woods, at 18, had first entered the record book as the youngest ever to win the U.S. Amateur, following his three consecutive Junior Amateur titles (1991-1993). That record for youngest champion has since been broken twice, first by 17-year-old Danny Lee in 2008 at Pinehurst No. 2 in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C., and then in 2009, when 17-year-old Byeong-Hun An won at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., with a 7-and-5 victory over Ben Martin of Greenwood, S.C.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf link.