History

In 1948, the USGA inaugurated the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship to determine the best junior golfer in the United States and also to help junior golfers learn how to realize the most from the game, win or lose.

The Junior Amateur was hardly the first junior competition to attract a national field. The Western Junior had been established in 1914. In 1946, two more competitions appeared, each with a claim on the national title. One was sponsored by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, the other by the Hearst Newspapers.

The first U.S. Junior Amateur was played at the University of Michigan Golf Course and drew 495 entries. The starting field of 128 players was determined by sectional qualifying rounds at 41 sites. Dean Lind of Rockford, Ill., was the first champion. Lind defeated Ken Venturi, of San Francisco, a future U.S. Open champion, in the final.

By 1963, entries had surged to 2,230, a record for the 14th consecutive year. At the time, there was no handicap limitation for entrants. That changed in 1964 when a handicap limit of 10 strokes was introduced. In 1999, the championship attracted a record 4,508 entries.

In 1978, the USGA conducted the Junior Amateur over the South Course of the Wilmington (Del.) Country Club, while the Girls’ Junior was being staged on the North Course. This was the first time the USGA conducted two national championships simultaneously at the same golf club.

The Junior Amateur is among the most difficult of all USGA championships to win, because of two factors: the age limit and the tremendous number of fine young players who enter each year. Only one player, Tiger Woods, has won the Junior Amateur more than once, winning in 1991, 1992 and 1993. In fact, only five players have reached the final twice.

Woods, who was 15 years, six months, and 28 days old when he won in 1991, was surpassed as the Junior Amateur's youngest champion by Jim Liu, who was 14 years, 11 months, when he won in 2010.

The Junior Amateur has another, more dubious, distinction. It is the only USGA championship for which Jack Nicklaus has been eligible that he did not win at least once. Nicklaus qualified for the championship five times. His best finish came in 1956 when he was a semifinalist.

The Junior Amateur remains today an educational opportunity as well as a competitive outlet. Pre-championship players’ dinners have attracted guest speakers such as Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer and Johnny Miller, all willing to share their knowledge and experience with young players. 

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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.

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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.



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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

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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.

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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


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