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Leow and Lewis Advance to U.S. Amateur

James Leow and Trevor Lewis advanced to the 121st U.S. Amateur Championship after 36 qualifying holes in the grueling humidity and heat at Alta Mesa Golf Club on Tuesday. For the first time since 2019, the United States Golf Association is holding qualifying across 92 sites for the U.S. Amateur Championship, scheduled Aug. 9-15 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Penn.

Leow, 24, of Singapore, went wire-to-wire to claim medalist honors with a 36-hole total of seven-under-par 137.

“It is definitely a lot of excitement to go to Oakmont and play the top amateurs – it’s big-time,” the medalist said.

The Arizona State incoming senior entered the second and final round tied with Jimin Yoo at five-under-par. He turned in a three-under-par 33 on the back nine of the final round to close out with a two-under-par 70, clinching medalist honors by two shots.

“Last year I made it through rankings so never have actually played a U.S. Amateur qualifier before,” said Leow “This shows that I belong playing in those big elite fields and I am definitely looking forward to it.”

Leow, a top-300 ranked amateur golfer in the world, will be playing in his second consecutive U.S. Amateur Championship – his World Amateur Golf Ranking earned him an exemption into the 2020 field. This imposing qualifying performance comes just seven months after undergoing surgery in December – he has also managed a win at the Southwestern Amateur in the two months since returning.

“It was definitely tough the first five months back from surgery because I couldn’t really walk and had to do rehab every other day while my teammates were traveling and competing for the team,” Leow said.  “It was tough but I kept my head down and kept doing what I needed to. I worked out hard, practiced as well as I could and focused on the short game. It helped my mentality that I can play when I am ready to – I have no excuse. It is great to be healthy again.”

Lewis, 18, of Prescott, Ariz., qualified for his first U.S. Amateur after posting a five-under-par 139. With an opening round three-under-par 69, the incoming Embry-Riddle freshman entered the final 18 just two back of a qualifying spot. A two-under-par 70 earned him the second and final qualifying spot by a slim one shot. This not only marks Lewis’s first U.S. Amateur but also his first USGA Championship he has ever qualified for.

“It is really cool,” Lewis said. “Unfortunately, I have never been able to sneak into a U.S. Junior Amateur – this is my first year competing in the U.S. Amateur qualifier. The last few tournaments haven’t been quite what I wanted – it is pretty surreal to actually make it to the amateur.”

Trevor Lampson and Joseph Lloyd will serve as first and second alternates after finishing qualifying at three-under-par.

The U.S. Amateur Championship, first contested in 1895, is the oldest of the 14 championships conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA). With a thrilling 7,811 (most since 1999) applications accepted by the USGA, 312 of the world’s best amateur golfers will take on “The Ultimate Test in Golf” this August, returning to Oakmont Country Club for the fifth time since 1919. The Championship is conducted over seven consecutive days, where two rounds of qualifying stroke play and six rounds of match play determine who will hoist the Havemeyer Trophy.

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Carson, Ammaccapane and Parker Advance to U.S. Senior Women’s Open

A 78 each in qualifying at Longbow Golf Club on Thursday earned Charlene Carson, Dina Ammaccapane and Kristal Parker a spot in the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open field. A field of 120 competitors will compete for the USGA title at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn., from July 29-Aug. 1.

Carson, 54, of Mesa, Ariz., will be playing in her first U.S. Senior Women’s Open after posting 6-over-par. The LPGA teaching professional at Springfield Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz., turned in a four-over-par 40 on the front nine.

“The first three holes, the nerves were incredible. My adrenaline was higher than it should have been, it was fun,” Carson said.

She finished the back nine with a two-over-par 38 to clinch a qualifying spot by one stroke.

“I am so excited, I don’t think it’s sunk in,” Carson said. “This is a thrill. I came with a positive attitude, feeling I could do well but no expectations.”

Ammaccapane, 53, of Phoenix, Ariz., earned a spot in the championship field after her 6-over-par 78. This will be her second Senior Women’s Open appearance, after qualifying in 2019.

Parker, 63, of Phoenix, Ariz., started strong, going out in even-par 36, good for the lowest 9-hole score of the qualifier. The sizzling heat combined with sweltering humidity wore down the retired LPGA Tour regular player on the back nine, but her +6 finish proved enough to co-medal. This marks her first time qualifying for the championship. Since retiring from the Tour in 2006, she has taken on a new challenge, becoming the head coach at Arizona Christian University.

“I’m excited,” Parker said. “For me it was physically hard, I was losing it on the back nine. The heat definitely got to me.”

Kim Eaton and Robin Krapfl will serve as first and second alternates after they each posted a+7 (79).

The U.S. Senior Women’s Open is one of 14 championships conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA). With the cancellation of last year’s championship, 2021 marks the third year of play since its inception in 2018.

News

Watkins, Thomson Qualify for U.S. Amateur

Kurt Watkins and Hunter Thomson picked up two coveted qualifying spots to the U.S. Amateur Championship after a grueling 36 holes at Arrowhead Country Club in Glendale, Ariz., Tuesday. For the first time since 2019, the United States Golf Association is holding qualifying across 92 sites for the U.S. Amateur Championship, scheduled Aug. 9-15 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Penn.

Watkins, 38, of Phoenix, qualified for his first U.S. Amateur with medalist honors after a two-round total of 10-under-par 134. He registered an opening round four-under-par 68, one shot behind Sean O’Donnel. He continued on to turn in a bogey-free final round six-under-par 66, besting the field by one stroke.

“It is great – I had one of my best buddies on the bag and he used to be a member here, so he was giving me some hot reads,” Watkins said. “To be honest, this is a little redemption. My buddy (Nathan Grintjes) and I qualified for the U.S Four-Ball before it got canceled last year.”

This marks Watkin’s fourth time qualifying for a USGA championship – he qualified for the U.S. Amateur Public Links (2002, 2004), and for the afore-mentioned 2020 U.S. Four-Ball Championship, which was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Thomson, 17, of Calgary, Canada, picked up the second and final qualifying spot after registering two consecutive under-par rounds. With an opening round two-under-par 70, the standout junior started the final 18 two back of a qualifying spot.

“Before the round started, I knew I had to go out there and give it my all,” Thomson said.

And he did just that.

Thomson went on to turn in an impressive bogey-free seven-under-par 65, good for the low round of the qualifier, landing his first U.S. Amateur ticket. Thomas, a University of Michigan commit, will also play in the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur next week after earning an exemption based on his World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

“Bogey free seven-under – I was pretty pumped, it was kind of nerve-racking coming down the stretch, but I knew I could get it done I had been in that situation before,” Thomson said. “I started birdie, birdie and never looked back from there – Whatever I am presented with I know what I have to go out and do.”

Evan White and Sean O’Donnell will serve as first and second alternates after each finishing 36 holes at 9-under-par.

The U.S. Amateur Championship, first contested in 1895, is the oldest of the 14 championships conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA). With a thrilling 7,811 (most since 1999) applications accepted by the USGA, 312 of the world’s best amateur golfers will take on “The Ultimate Test in Golf” this August, returning to Oakmont Country Club for the fifth time since 1919. The Championship is conducted over seven consecutive days, where two rounds of qualifying stroke play and six rounds of match play determine who will hoist the Havemeyer Trophy.

For full results: Click here

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Koo Headlines Four Qualifiers for U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship

Qualifying for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship is officially underway – Jasmine Koo, Suthavee Chanachai, Marley Moncada and Han-Hsuan Yu each earned her respective spot to Westchester Country Club, Aug. 2-8, after finishing in the top four at Papago Golf Club on Wednesday.

Koo, of Cerritos, Calif., earned medalist honors by one stroke. She finished at four-under-par after posting a -4 (32) on the back nine alone.

“It feels great, I played really well out there,” said Koo. “I am just super excited to go to New York, especially as a junior. [It’s] really good to compete against older players and get this experience.”

This marks Koo’s first-ever U.S. Women’s Amateur. At 13, she qualified as the youngest player in the field for her first USGA Championship at the 2019 U.S. Girl’s Junior Championship.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself because I was the youngest,” Koos said referring to her 2019 appearance. “This year I am just going to go out and play – I’m going to think of myself as the same as everyone else, focusing on enjoying myself out there.”

Chanachai of Bangkok, Thailand, and Moncada of Tucson, Ariz., picked up the second and third qualifying spots after each finishing three-under-par. Moncada turned in an impressive five-under-par 31 coming in, birding all but three holes on the final nine en route to earning a trip to her first-ever U.S. Women’s Amateur.

“Being a junior golfer and not in college, it means a lot,” Moncada said. “It really boosts my confidence knowing I can stay with them and compete at longer yardages.”

Chanachai, a two-time WAC Player of the Year at New Mexico State University, plans on attending LPGA Tour Qualifying School following her first U.S. Women’s Championship appearance later summer.

Oklahoma State rising senior Han-Hsuan Yu of Taoyuan, Taiwan, secured the final coveted ticket to New York after turning in a two-under-par 70.

“It means a lot because I have not played a U.S. Amateur in a while,” Yu said. “I really want to play in this tournament. I’m super excited.”

The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, a tournament many consider the ultimate test in women’s amateur golf, is one of 14 championships conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA). With a record 1, 520 applications accepted by the USGA for the event, 156 competitors will play this August for a chance to hoist the Robert Covey Cox Trophy.  For the second time in U.S. Women’s Amateur history, Westchester Country Club’s famed West Course is set to host the championship.

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Carlson, Horn, Wayment and Peterson Win Southern Am Titles

By: Kade Peterson
USGA P.J Boatwright Jr, Communications Intern

Four champions were crowned in the Arizona Southern Amateur at the Gallery Golf Club’s North Course in Tucson, played June 26-27. Jake Carlson (Open), Charlie Horn (Legends), Brad Wayment (Seniors) and Paige Peterson (Masters) took home silverware in their respective divisions.

Carlson posted scores of 72-67 to finish at -5 overall, two shots clear of Reece Nilsen. He made eight birdies in his final round, crediting sticking to his game plan for coming through with the win.

“I just had to commit – let it go and not second guess myself,” said Carlson. “I played to the course and hit the shots needed.”

Carlson rattled off three straight birdies on 15 through 17 on Sunday, and watched eagerly as the final groups came in without a score matching his -5.
“This win means a lot, it’s a confidence builder for sure,” said Carlson. “A lot of good players in the field, so it’s awesome. It’s been a while.”

Horn slept on the lead after an opening round -1 (71), and followed up with an even-par 72 to finish three strokes ahead of Frank Ellenburg. He credited consistent play for coming out on top of the leaderboard.

“I hit probably 16 greens each day,” said Horn. “So I didn’t make a lot of putts but I made a lot of pars. Just one double bogey. Other than that it was pretty clean.”
Horn made seven birdies throughout the two-day tournament and was able to limit his mistakes on the North Course, becoming his recipe for victory.

“In our age group it’s nice to compete against the guys you have played with for 30-40 years,” Horn said. “Anybody can win, so I just feel fortunate it was my turn.”

In the Senior Division, Wayment shot 72-74 to finish two shots ahead of Marc Apps. Wayment said ball striking was a key to playing good golf.

“The first day I hit a lot of fairways and greens,” said Wayment. “It was very difficult to read these greens and make putts, but I hit the ball really well.”

The second day played a little more difficult, but Wayment played his final nine holes in even par, including a birdie on 17, to secure his win.
“I didn’t hit it as well, but I was able to make a couple more putts,” said Wayment. “Getting at some of those pins was pretty difficult.”

Finally, Peterson earned the win in the Masters division after posting consecutive 74’s, with his +4 overall good enough to finish one shot ahead of Eric Goldapske and Scott Smith. Peterson began the second round three shots behind Smith, and made the turn five strokes behind, before turning things around on the back nine.

“The key to success was not giving up,” Peterson said. “I hit the ball well today, I didn’t miss a fairway and only missed two greens.”

He played the last nine hole stretch in one under par, making par on 18 where Smith made bogey to win by one.

“On a course like this with the desert in play you just have to commit to your shot, commit to your lines,” said Peterson.

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