U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR
2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Storylines July 19, 2014 By Greg Midland, USGA

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Following a second day of official practice rounds at The Club at Carlton Woods, the 156 competitors in the 67th U.S. Junior Amateur Championship are set to begin the first round of stroke-play qualifying on Monday, July 21. Play begins at 7 a.m. CDT from the 1st and 10th tees at the Nicklaus Course.

The 2013 champion, Scottie Scheffler, turned 18 on June 21, making him ineligible to defend his title. With no other USGA champions in the field, we are assured of adding a new name to the roster of players who have won USGA titles.

Following is a capsule overview of the field.   

Who’s Here: 156 players, age 17 or younger

Average Age: 16.24

Oldest Competitors: Maxwell Miller (17, born 7/27/96), Ashton Poole (17, born 8/5/96), Keenan Huskey (17, born 8/6/96)

Youngest Competitors: Noah Goodwin (14, born 6/20/00), Patrick Welch (14, born 3/14/00), Garrett Barber (14, born 2/9/00)

Countries Represented: 13 (Australia, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, England, Germany, India, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway, Singapore and the United States)

U.S. States Represented: 39 (All except Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico and North Dakota)

USGA Champions: None

USGA Runners-Up: 1 (Davis Riley, 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur)

Players with Most Junior Amateur Appearances (2014 included): William Zalatoris (5), Justin Suh (4), Zecheng Dou (3), Sam Horsfield (3), Caleb Proveaux (3), Davis Riley (3), Cameron Young (3) and Andy Zhang (3)

Number of Golfers Who Played in 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship: 3 (Zecheng Dou, Sam Horsfield and Easton Paxton)

Select Player Notes:                                               

John Augenstein, 16, of Owensboro, Ky., was a semifinalist in his U.S. Junior Amateur debut last year at Martis Camp Club, where he fell to eventual runner-up Davis Riley, 4 & 2. He won the AJGA Wells Fargo Junior Classic earlier this season after firing back-to-back rounds of 67.

Austin Connelly, 17, of Irving, Texas, will be playing in his second U.S. Junior Amateur after advancing to the round of 64 in last year’s championship. So far through 2014, he has five top-10 finishes, including a victory at the FJ Invitational where he carded scores of 66-68-70-67. Connelly added a runner-up at the Jones Cup Invitational and placed 10th in the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions.

Pierceson Coody, 14, of Plano, Texas, is the grandson of 1971 Masters champion,Charles Coody, and is also one of the youngest players in the field.

Sean Crocker, 17, of Westlake Village, Calif., advanced to the round of 32 at the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur. His father, Gary, is a retired international Zimbabwean cricketer. Sean, who has been mentored by PGA Tour and Champions Tour veteran Nick Price, was low amateur at the Zimbabwe Open in April of 2013.

Brad Dalke, 16, of Hobart, Okla., attends the Jim McClean Golf Academy in Fort Worth, Texas. Dalke is the youngest of seven children and comes from an athletic family. His mother, Kay (Pryor), played on the first University of Oklahoma women’s golf team and his father, Bill, was a linebacker on Oklahoma’s 1975 national championship team.

Zecheng Dou, 17, of the People’s Republic of China, tied for 10th in stroke-play qualifying and lost to defending champion Jordan Niebrugge in the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur, and reached the Round of 16 in 2012. Dou became the youngest player to the make the cut in the history of the European Tour’s Volvo China Open in 2013 and eventually tied for 33rd. Dou, who won the 2011 Boys 13-14 Junior World Golf Championship, also participated in the inaugural USA-China Youth Match in 2012 at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. This will be Dou’s third U.S. Junior Amateur.

Dominic Foos, 16, of Karlsruhe, Germany, will be making his U.S. Junior Amateur debut in 2014. In August of 2013, Foos became the No. 1-ranked amateur in Germany and more recently, was the No. 1 under-17 ranked player in the world. In 2013, he became the youngest-ever winner of the French International Boys Championship, the German Match Play Championship, German International Boys and the German Junior Championship.

Wilson Furr, 16, of Jackson, Miss., founded a non-profit organization with his younger sister, Hartwell, seven years ago in an effort to raise awareness of importance of activity and play for children’s health. Just Have A Ball addresses the epidemic of childhood obesity in Furr’s home state. Furr compiled a perfect 3-0 record at the 2013 USA-China Youth Match.

Luis Gagne, 16, of Orlando, Fla., will be playing in his second U.S. Junior Amateur after advancing to the round of 32 last year at Martis Camp Club before falling to eventual runner-up, Davis Riley. Earlier this summer, Gagne finished runner-up at the Western Junior and shot a third-round 66. He won an event on the Florida Junior Tour at Rio Pinar CC in 2013.

Josh Gliege, 16, of Eagle, Idaho, placed fifth at the 2013 Idaho (IDHSAA) Class 5A state championship and won last year’s IGAJ state crown. Gliege’s father, grandfather and uncle are all pilots.

Will Grimmer, 17, of Cincinnati, Ohio, advanced to the first round of match play at the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur. The rising senior at Mariemont High School also qualified and competed in the 2014 U.S. Open held at Pinehurst Resort No. 2. Grimmer once shot an 11-under-par 59 in the second round of the 35th North-South Junior Amateur at Pinehurst Resort No. 1. Grimmer also won the 2013 Ohio Junior Amateur.

Andreas Halvorsen, 17, of Saint Augustine, Fla., was born in Norway. In March, he recently became the youngest winner ever of the Florida Azalea Open. Halvorsen has also notched wins this season at the FCWT Tour Championship, the AJGA Junior at Spring Valley and the FCWT at Harmony Golf Preserve.

Sam Horsfield, 17 of England, will be playing in his third U.S. Junior Amateur. He advanced to the quarterfinals last year at Martis Camp Club and made the round of 32 in 2012. Horsfield advanced to the round of 32 in the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links, where in previous years he has made the round of 16 and round of 64. He won the 2013 Florida State Amateur by 11 strokes with a 72-hole total of 278 on June 23. A few days later he was the medalist in Junior Amateur qualifying at Gainesville (Fla.) C.C. Horsfield, who has lived in Florida since age 5, has won two consecutive City of Orlando Amateurs and set a tournament record each year.

Cheng Jin, 16, of the People’s Republic of China, played in the USA-China Youth Match in August of 2012 at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. His teammates included Guan Tianlang, who played in the 2013 Masters Tournament and Zecheng Dou, who is also competing at the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur. Jin won the first AJGA Open in 2013.

Curtis Luck, 17, of Australia, has enjoyed a very successful amateur career. Thus far through 2014, he has claimed victories at the Western Australia Amateur Championship, the Victorian Junior Masters Championship and the NSW Stroke Play Championship. Luck is a member of the Western Australia national youth team.

Cole Madey, 17, played on the same Lake Oswego High School golf team with his older brother, Clayton, who now plays golf at the University of California-Berkley. They led the program to three consecutive Class 6A state championships. Was runner-up in the individual Class 6A state championships his freshman and sophomore year, but finally broke through and won the 2013 title last year as a junior.

Michael Mattiace, 16, of Jacksonville, Fla., tied for co-medalist honors and qualified for his first U.S. Junior Amateur at the Voorheesville, N.Y. sectional qualifier. Earlier this year, Mattiace finished third at the AJGA Preseason Junior after carding rounds of 68-76. Michael is the nephew of Len Mattiace, a two-time PGA Tour winner and runner-up to Mike Weir in the 2003 Masters.

Zach Murray, 17, of Australia, will be making his U.S. Junior Amateur debut this year. Murray, whose fellow Western Australian National team member Curtis Luck is also playing in this event, already has four amateur titles to his credit including the 2013 Victorian Amateur and the Aaron Baddeley International Junior. Murray also owns two match play victories over highly touted countryman and fellow U.S. Junior Amateur participant Ryan Ruffels.

Easton Paxton, 15, Riverton, Wyo., reached the round of 32 in the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. He is making his second U.S. Junior Amateur appearance after missing the cut last year at Martis Camp Club. Paxton won the 2014 Wyoming State Match Play championship and was also the 2013 Wyoming 4A State High School Champion. He won the 2012 Wyoming State Junior Amateur with an 18-foot eagle putt on the final hole.

Caleb Proveaux, 16, of Lexington, S.C., is playing in his third U.S. Junior Amateur. His older brother, Cody, will caddie for Caleb this week and twice qualified for the match play portion of the Junior Amateur. Caleb caddied for his brother, who is now a member of the Clemson University golf squad, at the PGA Tour’s 2012 FedEx St. Jude Classic.

Ivan Camilo Ramirez, 16, of Colombia, played in the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur but missed the cut. He finished fifth at the 2012 Junior Golf World Championships (Boys 13-14 division) and was nominated by Vanguardia Liberal for his country’s top individual in amateur sports in 2012 as well.

Davis Riley, 17, of Hattiesburg, Miss.,will be playing in his third U.S. Junior Amateur in 2014 after nearly winning the title last year at Martis Camp Club. Riley advanced all the way to the championship match where he eventually fell to Scottie Scheffler in the 36-hole final, 3 & 2. In April, Riley won the 19th Terra Cotta Invitational; an event that has included past winners such as Matt Kuchar and Bud Cauley.

Ryan Ruffels, 16, advanced to the round of 32 in last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur. He won the 2014 Australian Junior Amateur and will play with Adam Scott in the Pro-Am for the World Cup at Royal Melbourne. Ryan’s 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.

David Snyder, 16, of McAllen, Texas, is making his U.S. Junior Amateur debut this year. Snyder plays on the Future Collegians World Tour (FCWT) and has enjoyed a lot of success playing in their events. Dating back to 2013, he has claimed four victories and two runner-up finishes on the FCWT.

Justin Suh, 17, will play in his fourth consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. He advanced to the round of 16 last year, losing to eventual champion Scottie Scheffler. Suh, who is a member of the Evergreen Valley High School team, was selected as the boys’ golfer of the year by the San Jose Mercury-News. His sister, Hannah, a rising junior at University of California-Berkeley, qualified for the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open.

Patrick Welch, 14 of Providence, R.I., sunk a putt on the 18th green at Augusta National to win the 2014 Boys 14-15 division of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship in April. Welch, who plays cross-handed, will be competing in his second U.S. Junior Amateur this year after being the youngest competitor in the field in 2013.

Cameron Young, 17, is playing in his third U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. He advanced to the round of 64 in 2012 and made it to the quarterfinals last year at Martis Camp Club after finishing second in stroke-play qualifying. He’s the son of Sleepy Hollow Country Club (Scarborough, N.Y.) head professional David Young, and his mother, Barbara, is also a former golf pro. Young won the 2013 Metropolitan Golf Association Junior Championship and also the 2011 MGA Carter Cup, held at Baltusrol. A rising senior at Fordham Prep, Young plays on the golf and hockey teams.

Carl Yuan, 17, of Lake Mary, Fla., finished runner-up in the 2014 AJGA CB&I Boys Championship, which also was held at The Club at Carlton Woods. In 2013, he won three titles, including the Scott Robertson Memorial and AJGA Junior All-Star. As a 15-year old, Yuan advanced to sectional qualifying of the U.S. Open.

Andy Zhang, 16 of the People’s Republic of China, is making his third U.S. Junior Amateur appearance. In 2012, he became the youngest player (age 14) to play in the U.S. Open, held at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, and also qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur (Round of 64) and the U.S. Amateur, and played in the European Masters.