Interesting Player Storylines From The 2007 U.S. Amateur
There are 184 players in the field competing in their first U.S. Amateur, and 110 who are playing in their first USGA championship.
Anthony Paolucci, 14, of Dallas, Texas, is the youngest player in the field. He is fully exempt into the Amateur as a result of his runner-up finish at the 2007 U.S. Junior Amateur.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, 2006 USGA Senior Amateur champion Mike Bell, 60, of Indianapolis, Ind., is the oldest player in the 2007 U.S. Amateur Championship.
There are 11 other USGA champions in the field:
Austin Eaton, 38, of North Sutton, N.H. – 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur
Colt Knost is trying to become the sixth golfer to win two USGA championships in the same year. Those to have done so are: Charles "Chick" Evans (1916 U.S. Amateur, Open); Bob Jones (1930 Amateur, Open); Ryan Moore (2004 APL, Amateur); Jay Sigel (1983 Amateur, Mid-Amateur); and Pearl Sinn (1988 WAPL, Women’s Amateur).
Last year’s Amateur champion, Richie Ramsay of Scotland, turned professional, but the runner-up, John Kelly, 22, of St. Louis, Mo., has returned.
There are 12 Walker Cuppers in the field, including the eight members named thus far to the 2007 USA Walker Cup squad:
Danny Green, 50, of Jackson, Tenn. – 2001 USA team
There are also eight players in the field who have represented their country at the World Amateur Team Championship:
Estanislao Goya, 19, (Argentina, 2006)Chris Kirk, 22, (USA, 2006)
There are 28 players in the field who also competed in the 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur at The Olympic Club, led by the winner of that championship, Sihwan Kim. Others in the field making a return to Olympic are: Michael Beausejour; Jon Curran; Erik Flores; Rickie Fowler; Brian Harman; Billy Horschel; Daniel Kefale; Jonathon Krick; Daniel Lim; Lance Lopez; Alex Martin; Ji Moon; Glenn Northcutt; Andrew Putnam; Michael Quagliano; Travis Reid; Chris Rockwell; Clayton Rotz; Kevin Schultz; Mark Silvers; Craig Smith; Kyle Stanley; Robert Streb; Blake Trimble; Alex Wagner; Drew Weaver; and Henry Zaytoun.
Nine players in the field played in the 2007 U.S. Open: Chris Condello, 21, of Heathrow, Fla.; Jeff Golden, 33, of Winter Park, Fla.; Mark Harrell, 21, of Hazlehurst, Ga.; John Kelly, 22, of St. Louis, Mo.; Jason Kokrak, 22, of Warren, Ohio; Trip Kuehne, 35, of Dallas, Texas; Philip Pettitt Jr., 22, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Alex Prugh, 22, of Spokane, Wash.; and Martin Ureta, 22, of Chile. None made the cut.
A breakdown by age of the 2007 U.S. Amateur field:
14 (1): Anthony Paolucci
15 (3): Cheng-Tsung Pan; Ramsey Sahyoun; Cory Whitsett
16 (7): Dominic Bozzelli; Kyle English; Ricky McDonald; Michael McGowan; Ryan O’Rear; Martin Trainer; Taylor Travis;
17 (12): Connor Arendell; Troy Anderson; William Cauley; Nick Delio; Derek Ernst; Spencer Fletcher; Mu Hu; Doug Kleeschulte; Danny Lee; Hyun Seok Lim; Brant Peaper; Patrick Reed;
18 (26): Josh Anderson; Marshall Bailey; Justin Bryant; Kent Bulle; James Byrd; William Cullen; Amory Davis; Josh Dupont; Harris English; Rickie Fowler; Morgan Hoffman; Scott Kelly; Sihwan Kim; Lion Kim; Kelly Kraft; Tommy McDonough; Ji Moon; Cody Paladino; Fu-Chiang Pan; Matthew Pierce Jr.; Andrew Putnam; Brian Scherer; Jordan Smith; Darren Wallace; Chase Wright; Henry Zaytoun
19 (34): Tyson Alexander; Erik Barnes; Christian Blanchet; Joseph Bramlett; Michael Buttacavoli; Greg Doherty; Michael Drake; Andres Eschavarria; Brendan Gielow; Estanislao Goya; Will Griffin; Evan Harmeling; Ryan Hitt; J.C. Horne; Travis Howe; Chris Kennedy; David Lipsky; Jamie Lovemark; David McAndrew; Billy McKay; Clayton Parkhill; Eric Onesi; Dusty Roberts; Chris Rockwell; Clayton Rotz; Jake Scott; Kyle Stanley; Nick Taylor; Marius Thorp; Scott Travers; Cameron Trinagle; Blake West; Cole Willcox; Zachary Zaremba
20 (48): Daniel Abbondandolo; Philippe-Andre Bannon; Michael Beausejour; Cory Blenkush; Chappell Brown; Jon Curran; Blake Elmore; Erik Flores; John-Tyler Griffin; Brian Harman; Tyler Hitchcock; Jonathan Hodge; Cameron Hooper; Billy Horschel; John Hurley; David Johnson; Daniel Kefale; Jonathan Krick; Richard Lee; Daniel Lim; Brian Locke; Lance Lopez; Alex Martin; Phillip Mollica; John Moon; Glenn Northcutt; Sandro Piaget; Eddie Olson; Brent Paladino; Michael Quagliano; Bill Rankin; Travis Reid; Derek Rende; Lindsay Renolds; Matthew Rippy; Sam Saunders; Joe Schoolmeesters; Mark Silvers; Craig Smith; Carl Smith IV; Daniel Sorgini; Robert Streb; Zach Sucher; Blake Trimble; Alex Wagner; Drew Weaver; Ben Wood; Preston Yates
21 (36): Tyler Brewington; Chris Condello; Federico Damus; Patrick Datz; Troy Denton; Daryl Fathauer; Derek Fathauer; Robbie Fillmore; Estanislao Guerrero; Taylor Hall; Mark Harrell; Vincent Johnson; Michael Knight; Nick Little; Jimmy Lytle; Jon McLean; Dean Merrill; Troy Merritt; Tyler Neal; A.J. Oleksak; Michael O’Neal; Robert Rohanna; James Sacheck; Tim Schaetzel; Kevin Schultz; Blake Seabaugh; Zach Sebert; Raymond Sheedy; Derek Sipe; Michael Smith; Ryan Spears; Jarred Texter; Warren Thomas; Michael Tulacz Jr.; J.P. van der Walt; Brad Wright;
22 (49): Philip Arouca; Michael Baird; Adrien Bernadet; Blake Bowman; Victor Ciesielski; Chase Cooper; Reed Davis; Nick DeSimone; Kyle Dickey; Jakin Fox; Jason Gerken; Beau Glover; Stuart Gold; Jeff Golden; Philip Hendrickson; Matthew Hicks; Matt Hughes; Scotty Jones; Farren Keenan; John Kelly; Chris Kirk; Colt Knost; Jason Kokrak; Rick Kulacz; Brent Long; David Markle; Matthew Marshall; David McDaniel; Terry McNeill; David Merkow; Jamie Miller; Daniel Mitchell; Jonathan Moore; Jay Moseley; Trevor Murphy; Philip Pettitt Jr.; Alex Prugh; Zack Reeves; Ricky Romano; Eric Shriver; Scott Sikes; Webb Simpson; Robin Smith; Mark Sommerfield; Michael Thompson; Martin Ureta; Manuel Villegas; Min Wook Woo; A-Shun Wu
23 (23): Robert Bigley; Jeff Castle; Casey Clendenon; Kyle Ellis; Tanner Ervin; Freddy Esparza; Justin Fraley; Justin Gray; Matt Hammond; Wes Homan; Dustin Johnson; Bryce Ledford; Matt Miller; Ki Moon; Clay Poff; Jonathan Schram; Hunter Semels; Drew Stoltz; Cody Upham; Jhonattan Vegas; Casey Watabu; Aaron Weston; J.J. Wood
24 (7): Ryan Anderson; Jamie Arnold; Andrew Bowdish; Adam Hagen; Mark Modglin; Jonathan Orchin; Niall Turner
25 (1): Nathan Tyler
26 (2): Patrick Mainey; Andy Mickelson
27 (1): Matt Robertson
28 (4): David Easley; John Talley; Brad Wilder; Dave Womack
29 (4): George Cestia; Scott Harvey; Aaron Hickman; Nathan Smith
30 (2): Timothy Beranek; Carlton Forrester
31 (1): Brandon Huffman
32 (3): Nate Dunn; Raymond Floyd Jr.; David Keepler
33 (4): Richard "Skip" Berkmeyer; John Bernatovicz; Tyson Ketchum; Sean Rowen
34 (4): Jon Bettencourt; Bill Drohen; Kevin Marsh; Eric Williams
35 (7): Jim Dunlap; Ricky Jones; Trip Kuehne; Michael Muehr; Rick Reinsberg; Eric Spencer; Steve White, Jr.
37 (2): James Godwin; William Moore
38 (3): Austin Eaton; William Smith; Mark Telerico
39 (2): Clark Holle; Scott McGihon
40 (7): Tony Behrstock; Cliff Benson; Douglas Clapp; Chad Frank; Robert Gerwin; Mike Moffat; Jon Platz
41 (1): Kevin Quinn
42 (3): Charlie Blanchard; Arnold Cutrell; Packard DeWitt
44 (2): Ed Wholey; Jeff Wilson
45 (3): Alan Hill; John Pierce; Gene Elliott
46 (2): Tom Madden; Gary Wolstenholme
47 (4): Jeff Belk; Tripp Kuhkle; Bill McGuinness; Matthew Sughrue;
48 (1): Randy Haag
50 (2): Danny Green; Jeff New
54 (2): Jeff Burda; George Zahringer
60 (1): Mike Bell
Speaking of age, there are six players who will celebrate a birthday during the 2007 U.S. Amateur:
Tyson Ketchum of Kansas City, Mo., turns 33 on Monday.
Several players waited quite a while to play in their first U.S. Amateur: Chad Frank, 40, of Sanford, Fla.; Clark Holle, 39, of South Orange, N.J.; Tom Madden Jr., 46, of Tupelo, Miss.; Jeff New, 50, of The Woodlands, Texas; William Smith, 38, of Newville, Pa.; Matthew Sughrue, 47, of Alexandria, Va.; Steve White Jr., 24, of Jackson, Wyo.; and Ed Wholey, 44, of Chepachet, R.I.
There are 18 countries represented at the 2007 U.S. Amateur: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, England, France, Ireland, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, the USA and Venezuela.
There are 24 reinstated amateurs in the field: Cliff Benson; Timothy Beranek; Jon Bettencourt; Arnold Cutrell; Packard DeWitt; Jim Dunlap; Nate Dunn; Raymond Floyd Jr.; Carlton Forrester; Chad Frank; Scott Harvey; Aaron Hickman; Brandon Huffman; Kevin Marsh; Andy Mickelson; Michael Muehr; Jeff New; Jon Platz; Rick Reinsberg; Sean Rowan; Mark Telerico; Steve White Jr.; Eric Williams; and Jeff Wilson.
There are three sets of brothers in the field: Brent (20) and Cody (18) Paladino of Kensington, Conn.; Cheng-Tsung (15) and Fu-Chiang (18) Pan of Chinese Taipei; and 17-year-old twins Daryl and Derek Fathauer of Jensen Beach, Fla., who are playing in the U.S. Amateur together for the third time. A year ago, both lost in the first round. They are entering their senior year at the University of Louisville.
Other interesting player notes from the 2007 U.S. Amateur:
Tyson Alexander, 19, of Gainesville, Fla., plays golf at the University of Florida. His coach at UF, Buddy Alexander, is also his father and the 1986 U.S. Amateur champion.
Alexander is one of five current players from the University of Florida in this week’s field. Others are: Chappell Brown, 20, of West Palm Beach, Fla.; Andres Eschavarria, 19, of Colombia; Billy Horschel, 20, of Grant, Fla.; and Manuel Villegas, 22, of Colombia;
At the 2006 U.S. Amateur, Horschel set a USGA record when he shot an 11-under 60 at Chaska (Minn.) Town Course.
Josh Anderson, 18, of Murrieta, Calif., is playing in his first U.S. Amateur. He’s happy to be playing at all. In 2004, he was seriously injured in an automobile accident and was sidelined from the game for a year, which he says gave him a newfound respect and love for the game. He came back to win the 2007 California Amateur.
Philip Arouca, 22, of Wilmette, Ill., got a late start in golf. He played baseball until he was 17, when he was cut from his high-school baseball team. He switched his attention to golf and went on to play at St. Joseph’s University and is playing in his second USGA championship. He made the cut to match play at the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links, which was played in his hometown of Chicago.
Michael Beausejour, 20, of Canada, recently completed a mission trip to Mamalodi, South Africa.
John Bernatovicz, 33, of Akron, Ohio, is playing in his second U.S. Amateur, and his first since 1993, where he beat 2007 British Open champion Padraig Harrington in the first round. He and his wife, Emily, are expecting their first child in November.
Robert Bigley, 23, of Schenectady, N.Y., is playing in his first USGA championship. Bigley, a high-school match teacher, has won the Schenectady County Amateur twice but he has a way to go to match his father’s record of five wins.
Charlie Blanchard, 42, of Tiverton, R.I., played professional indoor lacrosse for the Boston Blazers for seven years. He is currently the assistant lacrosse coach at Bryant University.
Christian Blanchet, 19, of Gainesville, Fla., chipped in for birdie on the fifth hole of the playoff at his sectional qualifier to advance to the Amateur. His 11-year-old brother, Chandler, lent a helping hand at the qualifier – he caddied for his older brother.
Jon Curran, 20, of Hopkinton, Mass., was a semifinalist at the 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur at Olympic.
Arnold Cutrell, 42, of Greensburg, Pa., played in the 1982 U.S. Amateur. Cutrell, who is named after Arnold Palmer, turned professional but regained his amateur status in 1994. He didn’t play in the Amateur again until 2005, but is now playing in his third consecutive Amateur.
David Easley of Lincoln, Neb., is playing in his first USGA championship at the age of 28. Easley, one of 12 children (eight sisters and three brothers), attended the 1998 U.S. Open at Olympic as a spectator. His father played football at the University of Notre Dame in the late 1950s.
Kyle English, 17, of Clovis, Calif., is almost blind in one eye, the result of an accident suffered while making his mother a valentine on the front porch at age 8.
Spencer Fletcher, 17, of Los Altos, Calif., has a pretty good working knowledge of The Olympic Club. He has been a junior member at the club for seven years and was the Olympic Club Junior Champion in 2006. His parents had their wedding reception at the club in 1987.
Raymond Floyd Jr., 32, of Old Greenwich, Conn., is the son of 1986 U.S. Open champion Ray Floyd. The junior Floyd is playing in his third Amateur, but first since 2000.
Carlton Forrester, 30, of Birmingham, Ala., had a little help on the bag during his sectional qualifier for the Amateur. His college teammate, Matt Kuchar, served as his caddie. Kuchar was the 1997 U.S. Amateur champion.
Two past U.S. Mid-Amateur champions – Danny Green, 50, of Jackson, Tenn., and George Zahringer, 54, of New York, N.Y., tied for low-amateur honors at the 2007 U.S. Senior Open at Whistling Straits.
Randy Haag, 48, of Burlingame, Calif., is playing in his seventh U.S. Amateur but this one might be the most special – it’s being played on his home course, where he is a four-time club champion.
Scott Harvey of Greensboro, N.C., is playing in his first USGA championship at age 29. His father, Bill, is in the North Carolina Golf Hall of Fame and has played in 18 U.S. Amateurs.
Clark Holle, 39, of South Orange, N.J., who is playing in his first USGA championship, is the co-owner of two funeral homes in New Jersey. He was formerly the golf coach at Seton Hall University, his alma mater.
Cameron Hooper, 20, of Jacksonville, Fla., was hit by lightning while playing in a tournament three years ago. He didn’t want to withdraw because he was tied for the lead at the time, but did so.
Brandon Huffman, 30, of Little Rock, Ark., is playing in his second U.S. Amateur and his first since 2000. It wasn’t an easy road to Olympic, however. He almost suffered kidney failure after his sectional qualifier and was admitted to the hospital for two days to fully recover.
Daniel Kefale, 20, of Woodbridge, Va., made a hole-in-one at a fundraiser tournament at TPC Avenel. There was a $10,000 cash prize for anyone who made an ace on that hole, which Kefale could not accept because he didn’t want to lose his amateur status.
Kefale wasn’t the only player in the field to turn down a hole-in-one prize. Zack Reeves, 22, of Arlington, Texas, recorded an ace on a hole that earned him a Jeep Wrangler. He also turned down the prize so he could retain his amateur status.
Tyson Ketchum of Kansas City, Mo., will celebrate his 33rd birthday on Aug. 20 by playing his first round of stroke-play qualifying in the Amateur, his first USGA championship.
Doug Kleeschulte, 17, of Kingston, N.Y., recorded a hole-in-one during his sectional qualifier en route to advancing to his first USGA championship.
Michael Knight, 20, of Canada, spent five years (ages 5-10) sailing around the world with his family. He’s playing in his first USGA championship this week.
Tripp Kuhkle, 47, of Augusta, Ga., is playing in his first U.S. Amateur since 1996.
Rick Kulacz, 22, of Australia, had an interesting introduction to golf. After a late-night asthma attack when he was three years old, he started watching the British Open because it was the only thing on television. A week later, his dad took him to the golf course for the first time.
Michael McGowan, 16, of Southern Pines, N.C., is playing in his second consecutive U.S. Amateur. He is the son of Champions Tour player Pat McGowan and the grandson of LPGA founder Peggy Kirk Bell.
Jamie Miller, 22, of Silver Creek, N.Y., is playing in his first U.S. Amateur. His father, Allen, played on the 1969 and 1971 USA Walker Cup teams and the 1970 USA World Amateur team. His mother, Cindy, was on the Golf Channel’s Big Break 3.
Michael Muehr, 35, of Potomac Falls, Va., is playing in his first U.S. Amateur since 1994. He played on the PGA Tour in 2001-02 but had to retire from full-time golf due to a battle with melanoma. He got his amateur status back last month, just in time to qualify for the Amateur.
Trevor Murphy, 22, of St. Johnsbury, Vt., medaled in the Junior Olympics in alpine ski racing and represented the USA in the World Juniors in Italy.
Jonathan Orchin, 24, of Washington, DC, attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, which is the only art school in the country with an athletics program. He is currently a freelance graphic designer but is involved in an independent film project which is coming out next year.
John Pierce, 45, of San Antonio, Texas, is playing in his first U.S. Amateur since 1995. He is in the U.S. Air Force.
Andrew Putnam, 18, of University Place, Wash., is playing in his first U.S. Amateur. His brother, Michael, played on the 2005 USA Walker Cup team and currently plays on the PGA Tour.
Matt Robertson, 27, of Decatur, Tenn., probably drove home from his successful attempt at sectional qualifying for the Amateur very carefully. The last time he qualified for a USGA event, the 2000 U.S. Amateur Public Links, he fell asleep at the wheel and woke up upside down in a tree with seven broken bones. A titanium plate, 17 screws and 18 months later, he was back to playing golf.
Sam Saunders, 20, of Orlando, Fla., is playing in his second Amateur. His grandfather, Arnold Palmer, is a three-time USGA champion, having won the 1954 U.S. Amateur, as well as the 1960 U.S. Open and the 1981 U.S. Senior Open.
Scott Sikes, 22, of Dallas, Texas, got a bit of a late start getting to this year’s Amateur. He had a good reason, though – his wedding reception was Aug. 19.
Matthew Sughrue of Alexandria, Va., who is playing in his first U.S. Amateur at age 47, serves on the Board of the First Tee of Washington, DC, teaching life skills to inner-city DC youth through golf.
Mark Telerico, 38, of Aurora, Ohio, is playing in his first Amateur since 1992. Telerico, a reinstated amateur, had his wife on his bag during the sectional qualifier. She will also caddie for him at Olympic.
Martin Ureta, 22, of Chile, was the runner-up in the 2005 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
Manuel Villegas, 22, of Colombia is the younger brother of PGA Tour player Camilo Villegas.
Darren Wallace, 18, of Canada, became the youngest Canadian Amateur winner in history when he won the championship at age 15. As a result, he received an exemption to play in the PGA Tour event Canadian Open at age 15.
Drew Weaver, 20, of High Point, N.C., won the British Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, becoming the first American to win the title since 1979. As a result of his victory, he earned a spot in the 2007 British Open and the Scottish Open.
Ed Wholey, 44, of Chepachet, R.I., only entered the 2007 U.S. Amateur because he wanted to play two rounds at Newport National Golf Club for the sectional qualifier. He shot 74-69 to earn one of three spots.
Jeff Wilson, 44, of Fairfield, Calif., is playing in his eighth U.S. Amateur. He earned low-amateur honors at the 2000 U.S. Open and medalist honors at the 2000 U.S. Amateur.
Gary Wolstenholme, 46, of England was the 1991 and 2003 British Amateur champion. He played in the Masters Tournament in 1992 and 2004 due to his victories. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2007 and received the award from the Queen in May.
Preston Yates, 20, of Winston-Salem, N.C., is playing in his first USGA championship. If he needs advice, he can turn to his caddie, his older brother Alex, who played in the 2005 U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club.