US Amateur fact sheet

By Usga News ServicesAugust 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. AmateurThe 2008 U.S. Amateur Championship will take place August 18-24 at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Courses No. 2 and No. 4) in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C. GOLF CHANNEL will have exclusive coverage of the most prestigious amateur event in the country, beginning Monday. The following is a U.S. Amateur fact sheet:


The No. 2 course at Pinehurst will play at 7,281 yards and par 35-35 ' 70. The No. 4 course at Pinehurst, which will be used for the first two days of stroke play only, will play at 7,030 yards and par 35-35 ' 70.
Donald Ross designed the No. 2 course, which opened for play over 18 holes in 1907. Ross would fine-tune the layout several times through 1946. More recently, Rees Jones did renovations to the course prior to the 1999 U.S. Open. Ross also designed the original No. 4 course, which opened for play in 1919. The most recent renovation was directed by Tom Fazio in 1999.
The No. 2 course at Pinehurst Resort will be set for green speeds of approximately 11 feet, 6 inches on the Stimpmeter. The greens are Penn G-2 grass. A strip of intermediate rough of Common and Tifway Bermudagrass on each side of the fairways will be cut to 1 inches in height. The primary rough will be grown to 2 inches (20 feet of width outside the intermediate cut). A more penal secondary rough will be at 3 inches.
The No. 2 course setup at Pinehurst will result in a USGA Course Rating of 76.2 and a Slope Rating of 140. The setup for course No. 4 will result in a Course Rating of 74.2 and a Slope Rating of 138. An average Slope Rating in the U.S. is about 113.
Pinehurst has hosted eight USGA championships, more than any other club in North Carolina. Included in the mix are two U.S. Opens and one U.S. Amateur. It hosted the Open in 1999 and 2005, and will again play host in 2014. The Amateur was contested at Pinehurst in 1962.
Year and Championship ' Winner:
  • 2005 U.S. Open ' Michael Campbell, 280 (E), by two strokes over Tiger Woods.
  • 1999 U.S. Open ' Payne Stewart, 279 (-1), by one stroke over Phil Mickelson.
  • 1994 U.S. Senior Open ' Simon Hobday, 274 (-10), by one stroke over Jim Albus and Graham Marsh.
  • 1989 U.S. Womens Amateur ' Vicki Goetze-Ackerman def. Brandie Burton, 4 and 3.
  • 1980 Mens World Amateur Team ' USA (848) by 27 strokes over South Africa.
  • 1980 Womens World Amateur Team ' USA (588) by seven strokes over Australia.
  • 1967 World Senior Amateur Team Championship ' USA (discontinued after 1969).
  • 1962 U.S. Amateur ' Labron Harris Jr. def. Downing Gray, 1 up.
    Colt Knost, 22, of Dallas, Texas, holed a 20-foot birdie putt for a win on the 31st hole and led the rest of the way in defeating Michael Thompson of Tucson, Ariz., in the 36-hole championship match, 2 and 1. Knost also won the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links, becoming the second player in history to win both the APL and Amateur in the same year (Ryan Moore in 2004), and was a member of the winning USA Walker Cup team last September. He has since turned professional.
    Quarterfinalists from 2007 are fully exempt from having to qualify for the 2008 championship. Those exempt and entered (5) are Derek Fathauer of Jensen Beach, Fla.; Eddie Olson of Aptos, Calif.; Cheng-Tsung Pan of Chinese Taipei; Nick Taylor of Canada; and Jhonattan Vega of Venezuela
    Nine USGA champions are entered in the 2008 U.S. Amateur field. They are listed below:
  • Austin Eaton III, New London, N.H. ' 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion
  • Danny Green, Jackson, Tenn. ' 1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion
  • Brian Harman, Savannah, Ga. ' 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur champion
  • Sihwan Kim, Buena Park, Callif. ' 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur champion
  • Jack Newman, Des Moines, Iowa ' 2008 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion
  • Cameron Peck, Olympia, Wash. ' 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur champion
  • Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa. ' 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion
  • Kevin Tway, Edmond, Okla. ' 2005 U.S. Junior champion
  • Dave Womack, McDonough, Ga. ' 2006 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion
    There are 28 golfers who were exempt from having to qualify for the 2008 U.S. Amateur, including seven of the nine USGA champions listed above, The eight who are exempt due to qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Open are Jordan Cox of Redwood City, Calif.; Derek Fathauer of Jensen Beach, Fla.; Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif.; Jimmy Henderson of Lebanon, Ohio; Michael Quagliano of White Plains, N.Y.; Nick Taylor of Canada; Kevin Tway of Edmond, Okla.; and Jeff Wilson of Fairfield, Calif.
    Members of the 2005 and 2007 USA Walker Cup team are exempt into the 2008 U.S. Amateur. The members of the 2007 USA team playing are Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif.; Billy Horschel of Gainesville, Fla.; Jamie Lovemark of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; and Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor, Wash. Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., was a 2005 team member. Jonathan Caldwell of Northern Ireland was a member of the 2007 team for Great Britain and Ireland.
    The champion receives an exemption into the 2009 U.S. Open and British Open, and a probable invitation to play in the 2009 Masters Tournament, if he remains an amateur. He also receives a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Amateur field so long as he remains an amateur.
    Following two days of stroke play (Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 18-19), the field of 312 golfers will be reduced to the lowest 64 scorers, who will advance to match play. All matches are 18 holes except the final match. The 36-hole championship final match is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 24.
    The first and second rounds of stroke play are set for Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 18-19) at Pinehurst Resorts No. 2 and No. 4 courses. All match-play rounds will be played at the No. 2 course, beginning Wednesday (Aug. 20). A single round of match play is scheduled on Wednesday, followed by the second and third rounds on Thursday (Aug. 21), and single rounds again from Friday-Sunday (Aug. 22-24).
    The U.S. Amateur will have 13 hours of coverage on the GOLF CHANNEL over the last five days of the championship.
  • First Round Matches ' Wed. (Aug. 20), 1-4 p.m. (EDT)
  • Third Round Matches ' Thurs. (Aug. 21), 12-2 p.m. (EDT)
  • Quarterfinal Matches ' Fri. (Aug. 22), 12-2 p.m. (EDT)
  • Semifinal Matches ' Sat. (Aug. 23), 1-4 p.m. (EDT)
  • Championship Match ' Sun. (Aug. 24), 1-4 p.m. (EDT)
    In 2009, the Amateur will be played from Aug. 24-30 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.; the 2010 championship is scheduled from Aug. 23-29 at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.; and the 2011 Amateur is planned for Aug. 22-28 at Erin Hills Golf Club in Erin, Wis.
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

    Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

    Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

    It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

    Goodbye and good riddance.

    The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

    “What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.


    The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

    Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.

    Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

    But at what cost?

    The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

    The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

    We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

    In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

    We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

    Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

    We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

    “What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

    Amen again.

    We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

    Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

    There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

    This is good governance.

    And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

    This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

    We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

    Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

    Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

    Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”