2014 U.S. Amateur Storylines


Will Grimmer, 17, heads to Atlanta Athletic Club for the U.S. Amateur during a busy summer in which he has already competed in the U.S. Open and advanced to the U.S. Junior Amateur quarterfinals. (USGA/Jonathan Ernst)
By Brian DePasquale, USGA
August 11, 2014

Oldest Competitors: Douglas Hanzel (57, born Feb. 18, 1957), John Pate (54, born Oct. 18, 1959), Sean Knapp (52, born March 15, 1962), Michael McCoy (51, born Nov. 21, 1962), Don Bell (50, born April 24, 1964)

Youngest Competitors: Will Thomson (13, born Sept. 3, 2000), Kyosuke Hara (15, born Oct. 24, 1998)

Average Age of Field: 22.00

International Field – There are 23 countries represented at the 2014 U.S. Amateur.

Countries with players in the field – United States (269), Australia (7), Canada (7), England (5), South Africa (3), Spain (3), Scotland (2), Chile (1), People’s Republic of China (1), Chinese Taipei (1), Colombia (1), France (1), Germany (1), India (1), Republic of Korea (1), Malaysia (1), Mexico (1), The Netherlands (1), New Zealand (1), Peru (1), Singapore (1), Wales (1) and Zimbabwe (1).

U.S. States Represented – There are 42 states represented at the 2014 U.S. Amateur: California (45), Texas (22), Florida (17), Georgia (15), Ohio (13), North Carolina (12), Pennsylvania (12), South Carolina (11), Illinois (9), Minnesota (8), Tennessee (8), Maryland (7), New York (7), Massachusetts (6), Michigan (6), Alabama (5), Arizona (4), Arkansas (4), Colorado (4), Connecticut (4), Mississippi (3), Missouri (4), New Jersey (4), Indiana (3), Nebraska (3), New Mexico (3), Oklahoma (3), Oregon (3), Hawaii (2), Iowa (2), Kentucky (2), Louisiana (2), Montana (2), Rhode Island (2), Utah (2), Virginia (2), Washington (2), New Hampshire (2), Idaho (1), Kansas (1), Nevada (1) and Wisconsin (1).

USGA Champions (7): Douglas Hanzel (2013 Senior Amateur), Michael McCoy (2013 Mid-Amateur), Byron Meth (2014 Amateur Public Links), Jordan Niebrugge (2013 Amateur Public Links), Scottie Scheffler (2013 Junior Amateur), Nathan Smith (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 Mid-Amateur), William Zalatoris (2014 Junior Amateur).

USGA Runners-Up (4): Doug Ghim (2014 Amateur Public Links), Garrett Rank (2012 Mid-Amateur), Davis Riley (2013 and 2014 Junior Amateur) and Bill Williamson (2013 Mid-Amateur).

2013 U.S. Amateur Competitors (69): Bo Andrews, Adam Ball, Brandon Baumgarten, Neil Bautista, Benjamin Baxter, Evan Bowser, Julien Brun, Brian Campbell, Patrick Christovich, Wyndham Clark, Eli Cole, Corey Conners, Christopher Crawford, Dylan Crowley, Bryson Dechambeau, Andrew Dorn, J.D. Dornes, Alex Ellis, Peter French, Gavin Green, Gavin Hall, Nick Hardy, Rico Hoey, Beau Hossler, Chris Houston, Theo Humphrey, Stewart Jolly, Tee-k Kelly, Gus Lundquist, Tyler Macdonald, Joshua Martin, Brandon Matthews, Andrew McCain, Denny McCarthy, Michael McCoy, Brandon McIver, Taylor Moore, Matthew Nesmith, Jordan Niebrugge, Andrew Novara, Zachary Olsen, Cheng-Tsung Pan, Joe Parkinson, Joey Petronio, Matt Pinizzotto, Rhys Pugh, Garrett Rank, Seth Reeves, Davis Riley, Ryan Riley, Evan Russell, John Sawin, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, Oliver Schniederjans, Robby Shelton, T.J. Shuart, Jordan Smith, Nathan Smith, Ryan Tetrault, Austen Truslow, Luke Vivolo, Aaron Wise, Scott Wolfes, Gregory Yates, Cameron Young, Will Zalatoris, Ryan Zech, Steven Zychowski

2014 U.S. Open Competitors (7): Brian Campbell, Andrew Dorn, Will Grimmer, Brandon McIver, Maverick McNealy, Robby Shelton, Hunter Stewart

2014 British Open Competitors (2): Cheng-Tsung Pan, Bradley Neil

2014 U.S. Senior Open Competitors (2): Douglas Hanzel, Michael McCoy

2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Competitors (27): Andrej Bevins, Nathan Clark, Bryson Dechambeau, Zecheng Dou, Rigel Fernandes, Michael Gellerman, Doug Ghim, Gavin Green, Rico Hoey, Sam Horsfield, Sean Knapp, Andrew Lawson, Jay Lim, Thomas Lim, Jack Maguire, Brandon Matthews, Andrew McCain, Byron Meth, Jordan Niebrugge, Garrett Rank, Ryann Ree, Austin Smotherman, Ryan Tetrault, Ty Travis, Kyle Weldon, Scott Wolfes, Jonathan Woo

2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Competitors (10): Austin Connelly, Zecheng Dou, Dominic Foos, Will Grimmer, Sam Horsfield, Curtis Luck, Davis Riley, Ryan Ruffels, Cameron Young, William Zalatoris

2013 U.S. Senior Amateur Competitors (1): Douglas Hanzel

2013 Walker Cup Match Competitors (5): Jordan Niebrugge, Rhys Pugh, Jordan Smith, Nathan Smith, Todd White

PLAYER NOTES:

Matthew Bassler, 28, of Baltimore, Md., is the First Tee of Baltimore’s program director and is leading the development of a youth facility at Forest Park Golf Course. Bassler is playing in his third USGA championship, having competed at the 2008 U.S. Amateur and 2009 USGA Men’s State Team. He has made more of a commitment to playing this year and advanced to U.S. Open sectional qualifying. Bassler also reached the Maryland State Amateur semifinals at Baltimore Country Club.

Adam Ball, 20, of Glen Allen, Va., reached the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Amateur and lost to eventual champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, 4 and 3. A rising junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, Ball led the Rams to their first Atlantic 10 Conference championship in 2013-14 and earned all-conference recognition. He is a four-time Virginia State Golf Association (VSGA) junior champion.

Don Bell, 50, of Port Orange, Fla., is a senior real estate specialist who is playing in his second USGA championship. After graduating from Emory University with a degree in mathematics, Bell became a professional golfer. He played in Scandinavia for five years and twice won the Norwegian Order of Merit. He also competed in South Africa, Europe and Florida and played in the PGA Tour’s B.C. Open. He was the runner-up at this year’s Florida State Amateur Public Links Championship.

Evan Bowser, 19, of Dearborn, Mich., qualified for his third U.S. Amateur by surviving a 4-for-2 playoff at the Southfield, Mich., sectional. Bowser, a 2014 all-Horizon League selection as a sophomore at Oakland University, had an eagle-birdie finish to get into the playoff at Plum Hollow Country Club. Bowser’s mother passed away in 2011 after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was her primary caregiver.

Julien Brun, 22, of France, is competing in his third consecutive U.S. Amateur. A senior-to-be at Texas Christian University, Brun earned first-team All-America honors for the third straight year, the first TCU player to accomplish the feat. He won the 2014 Big 12 Conference title and was the NCAA San Antonio Regional medalist. He played in this year’s PGA Tour Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Sam Burns, 18, of Shreveport, La., is a rising senior on the Calvary Baptist Academy golf team. In 2013, Burns won his second straight Division III state high school title and led Calvary to its fifth consecutive state crown. Burns, who lost in a playoff to Will Murphy at this year’s Sunnehanna Amateur, volunteers for the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission and has raised funds for Noah Strickland, whose father was injured in Afghanistan. His mentor, David Toms, won the 2001 PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Cory Churchman, 19, of Abilene, Texas, is playing in his first USGA championship after earning medalist honors at the Amarillo, Texas, sectional qualifier. Churchman, a rising sophomore at the University of North Texas, played in 10 tournaments while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average in 2013-14. His mother, Lacretia Grant, was a golfer at Texas Tech University and is a fourth-grade teacher. Churchman, who is self-taught, is an avid bow hunter and bass fisherman.

Corey Conners, 22, of Canada, advanced to last year’s U.S. Amateur semifinals and will be competing in his third Amateur. He was named the 2013-14 Mid-American Conference (MAC) co-player of the year as a member of the Kent State University team. Conners, a three-time all-MAC selection, received the 2014 Merle Wagoner Award as the school’s outstanding male athlete. He also competed for Canada in the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship. Conners, who was the runner-up to Will Cromie in the 2014 North & South Amateur at Pinehurst No. 2, played in this year’s PGA Tour RBC Canadian Open.

Luke Crapo, 23, of Kaysville, Utah, is playing in his first USGA championship after carding a pair of 70s to earn one of two spots at the Park City, Utah, sectional qualifier. Crapo, a rising senior at Weber State University, did not see a golf course for two years after his freshman season while serving a Latter-Day Saints (LDS) mission in Brazil. Crapo, who is fluent in Portuguese, tied for 24th at the 2014 America Sky Conference Championship and qualified for match play at last month’s Utah State Amateur.

Bryson Dechambeau, 20, of Clovis, Calif., is playing in his seventh USGA championship and fourth consecutive U.S. Amateur. He reached this year’s U.S. Amateur Public Links quarterfinals and has advanced to match play in all six previous USGA events played. A junior-to-be at Southern Methodist University, Dechambeau was named second-team All-America, won the American Athletic Conference title and was ninth at the NCAA Championships. He wears a Ben Hogan-style cap while playing golf.

Zecheng Dou, 17, of the People’s Republic of China, is playing in his first U.S. Amateur but has competed in three Junior Amateurs and three Amateur Public Links. He advanced to the Round of 16 at the Junior Amateur and Amateur Public Links in 2013. Dou became the youngest player to make the cut in the European Tour’s Volvo China Open (age 16) and eventually tied for 33rd.

Brock Drogosch, 19, of Windermere, Fla., is competing in his first USGA championship after shooting rounds of 67 and 66 at the Winter Garden, Fla., sectional qualifier. Drogosch, a rising sophomore at the University of Kansas, never lost a swim race in any stroke (freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly) and still holds youth records at Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville, Mich. His brother, Garret, is a member of the track and cross country teams at Wake Forest University.

Nicolas Echavarria, 20, of Colombia, won this year’s Mexican Amateur by 12 strokes after carding a final-round 65. Echavarria, a junior-to-be at the University of Arkansas, reached the semifinals of the 2011 and 2012 U.S. Junior Amateurs. He finished sixth at the 2014 NCAA Columbia Regional. His older brothers Andres (Florida) and Miguel (Michigan) both played collegiate golf.

Alex Ellis, 22, of Austin, Texas, will play in his third U.S. Amateur after recently completing his senior year at the College of Charleston. Ellis, who wears two gloves and uses a 10-finger grip, led Charleston to the 2014 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title. He led his Westlake High team to a pair of Texas 5A state championships. He was the individual state runner-up to Jordan Spieth in 2009.

Alex Franklin, 22, of San Rafael, Calif., is playing in his second U.S. Amateur. A senior-to-be at Oregon State University, Franklin was the runner-up at this year’s Trans-Mississippi Championship and reached the 2013 Northern California Golf Association (NCGA) Match-Play semifinals. In high school, he collected golf equipment for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. His father, Mike, earned four volleyball letters at UCLA (1972-75) and played on three NCAA championship teams.

Taylor Funk, 18, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., will play in his first USGA championship after finishing as co-medalist at the Ocala, Fla., sectional qualifier. His father, Fred, won eight times on the PGA Tour and has claimed three senior major titles, including the 2009 U.S. Senior Open. Funk, who has caddied for his father on the Champions Tour, will be a freshman at the University of Texas. He won the 2013 Florida Class 2A state championship and was chosen St. Augustine Record Boys’ Golfer of the Year.

Gavin Green, 20, of Malaysia, advanced to the Round of 32 at the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Amateurs. He was the youngest competitor (age 13) in an Asian Tour event when he played in the Iskandor Johor Open. Green is a rising senior at the University of New Mexico, where he was second-team All-America and first-team all-Mountain West Conference in 2013-14. In 2008, Green ran through a glass door in a freak accident and required 100 stitches to repair an injury to his nose.

Will Grimmer, 17, of Cincinnati, Ohio, qualified for this year’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 and was the youngest competitor in the field. Grimmer, who will be a senior at Mariemont High School and was the 2013 Ohio Division II state runner-up, reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur. He carded an 11-under-par 59 in the 2013 North & South Junior Amateur en route to a fourth-place finish at Pinehurst No. 1. His golf instructor, Doug Martin, has played in five U.S. Opens.

Gavin Hall, 19, of Pittsford, N.Y., reached the Round of 16 at the 2013 U.S. Amateur and qualified for the 2013 U.S. Open. Hall made a hole-in-one during a practice round at Merion Golf Club. He earned all-Big 12 Conference honors as a freshman at the University of Texas and was one of three Longhorns to play in all of the team’s 13 events in 2013-14.

Doug Hanzel, 57, of Savannah, Ga., is competing in his 12th U.S. Amateur and is the oldest player in the field. A physician who specializes in pulmonary critical care at Southeast Medical Group, Hanzel won the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur. In 2012, he made USGA history by becoming the first player to qualify for match play at the Amateur, Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur in the same year. Hanzel, who wears an insulin pump to control diabetes, was the low amateur in the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Senior Opens.

Kyosuke Hara, 15, of Honolulu, Hawaii, was the medalist at the Mililani, Hawaii, sectional qualifier with rounds of 69 and 67. Hara, the second-youngest player in this year’s U.S. Amateur field, was a semifinalist at the 2013 Manoa Cup, Hawaii’s amateur match-play championship. He won the 2014 HSGA Four-Ball title with partner Shawn Lu in March and the 2013 Turtle Bay Amateur. Hara, who has competed at two Callaway Junior World championships, has studied karate for six years.

Eli Hendricks, 18, of Tallahassee, Fla., was the medalist with rounds of 71 and 66 at the Niceville, Fla., sectional qualifier and is competing in his first USGA championship. Hendricks will be a senior at Lawton Chiles High, where the golf program won last year’s Florida Class 3A, District 2 title. Hendricks works with Extending A Hand Outreach to help the homeless every month. He also volunteers with Red Hills Junior Golf Tour of Tallahassee.

Sam Horsfield, 17, of England, will play in his second U.S. Amateur and has an impressive record in USGA championships. He has advanced deep into match play at three Junior Amateurs, including this year’s semifinals and last year’s quarterfinals. Horsfield has made match play in all three Amateur Public Links played, including advancing to the Round of 16 in 2013. He won the 2013 Florida State Amateur by 11 strokes and 2013 Florida Class 3A scholastic title, the first in his school’s history. Horsfield, who has lived in Florida since age 5, has won three consecutive City of Orlando Amateurs.

Beau Hossler, 19, of Mission Viejo, Calif., is competing in his fourth U.S. Amateur. He advanced to the Round of 32 in 2011. Hossler, who is a rising sophomore at the University of Texas, last month became the eighth player to win consecutive Southern California Amateur Golf Association (SCGA) championships. At 17 years and 3 months old, he became the youngest player to make the cut at a U.S. Open since World War II, finishing in a tie for 29th at The Olympic Club in San Francisco in 2012. Hossler recently tied for second at the Porter Cup, shooting 65-68 over the final two rounds at Niagara Falls Country Club.

Sean Knapp, 52, of Oakmont, Pa., is playing in his 14th U.S. Amateur after shooting rounds of 65-74 to earn one of two spots at the DuBois, Pa., sectional qualifier. Knapp, who has competed in more than 40 USGA championships, lost to Tiger Woods, 2 and 1, in the 1995 Amateur and was paired with Tom Watson in the third round of the 2012 U.S. Senior Open. Knapp, a member of the Plum High School and Indiana (Pa.) University Hall of Fames, is vice president of sales for Fuhrer’s, Inc., and serves as an assistant basketball coach at Riverview High.

Bobby Leopold, 29, of Coventry, R.I., earned one of two spots at the Lincoln, R.I., sectional qualifier and will play in his fourth U.S. Amateur. Leopold reached the U.S. Amateur’s Round of 16 in 2011 and 2012. He defeated Michael Kim in match play at Erin Hills in 2011 and eliminated Harris English at Cherry Hills Country Club the following year. Leopold, who works for Barton Insurance Group, won his second Rhode Island State Amateur in 2014, a 4-and-2 victory over Andrew Fiorenzano.

Zander Lombard, 19, of South Africa, was the runner-up (to Bradley Neil) at this year’s British Amateur. Lombard was the first South African to reach the final since Trevor Immelman, in 1997. Lombard adopted a red meat and vegetables diet that has helped him lose nearly 40 pounds. In 2011, Lombard shot a 64 at his country’s Amateur qualifier only seven days after having the cast removed from a broken arm.

Brandon Matthews, 19, of DuPont, Pa., advanced to the 2013 U.S. Amateur quarterfinals and lost to eventual runner-up Oliver Goss, 5 and 3. A rising junior at Temple University, Matthews earned first-team all-American Athletic Conference honors. He tied for fourth at the 2014 conference championship.

Andrew McCain, 20, of New Port Richey, Fla., is playing in his fifth USGA championship, including his third U.S. Amateur. McCain, who recently lived for more than three years in Brisbane, Australia, is coached by well-known instructor Sean Foley. McCain’s brother, Matthew, has Down Syndrome and Andrew would like to create a foundation to help combat the genetic disorder.

Denny McCarthy, 21, of Rockville, Md., is playing in his sixth consecutive U.S. Amateur and has made match play three times. McCarthy, a rising senior at the University of Virginia, was a consensus second-team All-America selection this year. He tied for sixth at the NCAA Championship with a 54-hole score of 206 (4 under) and was the Atlantic Coast Conference runner-up. McCarthy, who was chosen 2012 ACC freshman of the year, shot a final-round 65 to tie for second at this year’s Porter Cup.

Michael McCoy, 51, of Des Moines, Iowa, is playing in his 40th USGA championship, including 14 U.S. Amateurs. McCoy won the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur and became the second-oldest champion with an 8-and-6 victory over Bill Williamson at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.). He was low amateur at this year’s U.S. Senior Open, finishing in a tie for 26th. McCoy, an 11-time Iowa Golf Association player of the year, is a member of the Iowa Golf Association Hall of Fame.

Maverick McNealy, 18, of Portola Valley, Calif., qualified for his first U.S. Open earlier this summer and is competing in his first U.S. Amateur. McNealy, who attends Stanford University, was voted to the 2014 Pacific-12 Conference All-Freshman Team. He advanced to the 2012 U.S. Junior Amateur quarterfinals and the Round of 32 last year. McNealy was a defenseman for the San Jose Junior Sharks, an AAU ice hockey team that captured two state titles. The son of Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy, Maverick also currently interns for Wayin.com, a startup company in Denver.

Butler Melnyk, 31, of Saint Simons Island, Ga., is playing in his first USGA championship after earning medalist honors at the Moravia, Iowa, sectional qualifier. Melnyk, who played collegiately at Georgia, is a sports representative for Wasserman Media Group and is a member of his First Tee chapter’s board of directors. His father, Steve, won the 1969 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club, played in eight U.S. Opens and worked for more than two decades as a network television golf announcer.

Byron Meth, 21, of San Diego, won the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, defeating Doug Ghim in 37 holes, in the first championship match to feature co-medalists since 1929. A rising senior at the University of the Pacific, Meth won the 2014 West Coast Conference individual title by seven strokes. Meth, who is playing in his first U.S. Amateur, competed in the 2011 Australian Open and 2011 Australian Masters.

Bradley Neil, 18, of Scotland, won the 2014 British Amateur by defeating Zander Lombard, 2 and 1, in the 36-hole final at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. Neil, who attended the Scottish Golf Academy at age 12, became the first Scot to win the championship since 2004. He was one of four amateurs to play in this year’s British Open and was paired with 2009 British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero. Neil is playing in his first USGA championship.

Jordan Niebrugge, 20, of Mequon, Wis., was a member of the winning 2013 USA Walker Cup Team. He has twice been named honorable mention All-America as a member of the Oklahoma State University team. Niebrugge had a stellar 2013 campaign when he won the U.S. Amateur Public Links, Western Amateur, Wisconsin State Amateur and Wisconsin State Match Play. He advanced to the Drive, Chip and Putt national finals three times.

Drew Novara, 20, of Murphysboro, Ill., is playing in his second consecutive U.S. Amateur. A junior-to-be at Southern Illinois University, Novara began playing golf just before high school after breaking bones in both ankles the previous two summers. In seventh grade, he injured his right ankle playing baseball and then fractured two bones in his left ankle the following year while playing basketball. He got his cast off in late July and a week later was on a golf course for the first time.

Cheng-Tsung Pan, 22, of Chinese Taipei, is playing in his seventh U.S. Amateur and has reached the quarterfinals twice. In his first appearance in 2007, he became the youngest U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist since Bob Jones at the age of 15. A three-time All-America selection and a rising senior at the University of Washington, Pan became first Husky to play in a British Open while still in school. He was one of four amateurs to play at Royal Liverpool Golf Club last month.

John Pate, 54, of Santa Barbara, Calif., is playing in his 21st USGA championship, including his seventh U.S. Amateur, after earning one of two spots in the Missoula, Mont., sectional qualifier with a pair of 69s. Pate, who qualified for the 2013 U.S. Senior Open, made his last U.S. Amateur appearance in 2001. His brother, Steve, won six times on the PGA Tour and is now competing on the Champions Tour. A Merrill Lynch financial advisor, John serves on the board of the First Tee Central Coast and has coached baseball and basketball on the youth level.

Rhys Pugh, 20, of Wales, is playing in his second U.S. Amateur after reaching the Round of 64 last year. Pugh was the youngest member of the victorious 2011 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Team and competed on the squad again in 2013. A senior-to-be at East Tennessee State University, Pugh has earned all-Atlantic Sun Conference all-academic honors twice. He played in the 2013 British Open and became the second Wales native to win the Irish Amateur in 2011.

Garrett Rank, 26, of Canada, made the Round of 16 at this year’s U.S. Amateur Public Links, losing to eventual champion Byron Meth, and was the runner-up at the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Rank overcame a cancer scare at age 23, giving him a new outlook on life. He is a minor-league professional hockey referee in the Ontario Hockey League.

Seth Reeves, 23, of Suwanee, Ga., is competing in his third U.S. Amateur and advanced to the Round of 32 last year. Reeves, who just finished his career at Georgia Tech, earned second-team All-America and all-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition as a senior. He tied for sixth at the NCAA Championship and made his second appearance on the ACC all-academic squad. Reeves plays left-handed but writes right-handed.

Davis Riley, 17, of Hattiesburg, Miss., earned an exemption into U.S. Amateur as the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up. He was also the runner-up in last year’s Junior Amateur and advanced to the Round of 32 in 2012. He received the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports Moment Award for sportsmanship after assessing a self-imposed penalty in the 2013 Junior Amateur final against Scottie Scheffler. Riley, a rising senior at Presbyterian Christian, has been the MAIS (Mississippi Association of Independent Schools) Class 3A medalist three of the last four years.

Ryan Riley, 33, of North Easton, Mass., is playing in his second U.S. Amateur after earning one of three available spots at the Bernardston, Mass., sectional qualifier. Riley played in his first U.S. Amateur last year, qualifying on his first attempt. Riley, who has been the golf coach at Norton High School for seven years and works in sales at Officeland, played collegiately at Sacred Heart University and won the 2002 conference title. He holed a bunker shot on the 33rd hole to capture the 2011 Massachusetts Amateur.

Ryan Ruffels, 16, of Australia, is playing in his first U.S. Amateur and won this year’s Australian Junior Amateur and Riversdale Cup. In 2013, Ruffels advanced to the Round of 32 at the U.S. Junior Amateur. His parents, Ray and Anna-Maria, were both tennis professionals. Ray won 16 doubles titles, including the 1977 Australian Open, and played on Australia’s Davis Cup squad. Anna-Maria (Fernandez) captured five WTA doubles titles. Ryan received his first cut-down club from Mark O’Meara when his parents were in-house tennis pros at Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Florida.

Xander Schauffele, 20, of San Diego, reached the Round of 16 at last year’s U.S. Amateur (lost to eventual runner-up Oliver Goss). Schauffele is a senior-to-be at San Diego State University and is a three-time first-team all-Mountain West Conference performer. He won the 2014 California State Amateur by defeating Beau Hossler, 2 up, in the final and is a two-time Southern California Amateur runner-up (2012, 2013). His father, Stefan, was once an assistant golf professional in Hawaii.

Scottie Scheffler, 18, of Dallas, is playing in his third U.S. Amateur after advancing to the quarterfinals last year. Scheffler, the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, tied for 22nd and made a hole-in-one in the third round of the 2014 PGA Tour HP Byron Nelson Championship. He also won his third consecutive Texas 4A state championship and will enter the University of Texas in the fall. His older sister, Callie, is a member of the Texas A&M University golf team.

Ollie Schniederjans, 21, of Powder Springs, Ga., is playing in his third consecutive U.S. Amateur and reached the Round of 64 in 2012. Schniederjans was the 2014 NCAA individual runner-up, losing in a three-hole playoff to Stanford’s Cameron Wilson. As a junior at Georgia Tech, he was chosen first-team All-America by Golfweek and the GCAA, and voted 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year.

Corby Segal, 43, of Santa Clarita, Calif., is making his second U.S. Amateur appearance but first since 1993. Segal, who caddies on the PGA Tour for Briny Baird and has also worked with Brandt Jobe, has competed in three U.S. Mid-Amateurs. He advanced to the quarterfinals in 2012 and Round of 32 last year. Segal won the 2012 Burbank City Amateur by eight strokes, including a final-round 65.

Robby Shelton, 18, of Wilmer, Ala., is no stranger to USGA championships, having advanced to the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links quarterfinals. He also was a semifinalist at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur and reached the Round of 32 at the 2012 U.S. Amateur. Shelton was named the 2014 Phil Mickelson National Freshman of the Year at the University of Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide to the NCAA title and earned first-team All-America honors. He won three consecutive Class 5A state high school championships.

T.J. Shuart, 31, of Coral Springs, Fla., is playing in his 11th USGA championship after earning one of two spots at the Hollywood, Fla., sectional qualifier. He has previously competed in three U.S. Amateurs, five U.S. Mid-Amateurs and two U.S. Amateur Public Links. Shuart, who is an independent golf sales representative, won his second Florida State Amateur Public Links title this year. He played collegiately at Loyola University in Baltimore.

Nathan Smith, 36, of Pittsburgh, is a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012) and a member of three USA Walker Cup Teams (2009, 2011, 2013). In 2013, Smith clinched the 14th point and the Walker Cup Match with a 4-and-3 victory over Nathan Kimsey. When he won the 2003 Mid-Amateur, he became the youngest champion. In 2012, the financial specialist became the first player to win four Mid-Amateurs. In 2007, he became the first golfer to win the Western Pennsylvania Tournament of Champions, Mid-Amateur and Amateur in the same year.

Paul Smith, 21, of Turlock, Calif., is playing in his first U.S. Amateur Championship. A senior-to-be at the University of Southern California, Smith originally attended Cal-State Stanislaus, where he earned Division II All-America recognition. Smith has solved a Rubik’s Cube in 92 seconds, runs the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds and is teaching himself to play piano using YouTube videos.

Nick Smits, 20, of The Netherlands, has lived in five countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, United States) and is fluent in two languages (English, Indonesian). A rising senior at the University of Nevada, Smits is playing in his first USGA championship after earning one of three spots at the East Williston, N.Y., sectional qualifier. He won this year’s Nevada State Amateur in a playoff.

Hunter Stewart, 21, of Nicholasville, Ky., is competing in his third U.S. Amateur, having earned an exemption by qualifying for the 2014 U.S. Open. A senior-to-be at Vanderbilt University, Stewart earned all-Southeast Region honors and was fourth at the NCAA San Antonio Regional. He also played in this year’s PGA Tour RBC Heritage, held at Harbour Town Golf Links, and missed the cut by only one stroke.

Adam Svensson, 20, of Canada, was named the 2014 NCAA Division II Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year. He led Barry University to its second consecutive NCAA championship. Svensson, a rising junior, won seven tournaments and was selected first-team All-America and Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year. He played in the PGA Tour’s 2013 and 2014 RBC Canadian Opens.

Will Thomson, 13, of Pittsford, N.Y., is the youngest competitor in U.S. Amateur history and is playing in his first USGA championship (Ryota Ito was 14 when he competed in 2004). Thomson, an eighth-grader at Barker Road Middle School, shot rounds of 68 and 66 to earn medalist honors at the Mendon, N.Y., sectional qualifier. Thomson, who plays on the Pittsford-Mendon High School team, won the 2013 New York State Boys’ Amateur by 10 strokes and competed at this year’s Porter Cup.

Todd White, 46, of Spartanburg, S.C., helped the USA to a 17-9 victory in the 2013 Walker Cup Match at the National Golf Links of America, in Southampton, N.Y. The high school history teacher secured the team’s 13th point by defeating Rhys Pugh, 4 and 3. He advanced to the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur. White, who was named the 2012 South Carolina Golf Association player of the year, has played in five U.S. Amateurs and four USGA Men’s State Team Championships.

Scott Wolfes, 21, of St. Simons Island, Ga., was the co-medalist with rounds of 68 and 66 at the Fernandina Beach, Fla., sectional qualifier. Wolfes advanced to the Round of 32 last year. He reached the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur quarterfinals, losing to Justin Thomas, 2 and 1. A rising senior at Georgia Southern University, Wolfes led the Eagles to the 2014 Southern Conference title. He is a three-time all-conference selection and was voted league player of the year in 2012.

Will Zalatoris, 17, of Plano, Texas, won the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur title by defeating Davis Riley, 5 and 3 in the 36-hole final. He is playing in his seventh USGA championship and his second U.S. Amateur. He won this year’s rain-shortened Trans-Mississippi Championship (5-under 135) by one stroke and the Texas State Amateur (10-under 274) by three strokes. Zalatoris, who will enroll at Wake Forest University this fall on the Arnold Palmer Golf Scholarship, won the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private & Parochial Schools) 5A state title twice (2012, 2013) and was runner-up this year.

Compiled by Brian DePasquale, the USGA's manager of championship communications. Email him at bdepasquale@usga.org.

THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image