The inaugural Elite Amateur Cup is in the books, and it is Caleb Surratt finishing the seven-event race as the winner.
The Elite Amateur Golf Series debuted this summer with top amateurs vying for professional and other exemptions at the most prestigious tournaments across the country. Surratt was one of the outliers who teed it up in all but one of the seven tournament, and the incoming freshman at Tennessee notched four top-5 finishes in those starts, a performance that allowed Surratt to edge Louisville’s Jiri Zuska of the Czech Republic by just over 16 points.
“The Elite Amateur Cup Series, since announced, has been my primary goal of the summer and 2022 season,” Surratt said. “I was excited to go head-to-head with the nation's best amateurs, many of whom I'd be competing against this coming college season. It truly felt like a series, on an array of different courses, with different weather conditions, and even different styles of golf that proved to be a great litmus test for me to assess my game and discover areas to work on for the upcoming college season.”
Surratt tied for fourth at the Sunnehanna Amateur, which was won by future teammate Bryce Lewis, and then finished solo third at the Northeast Amateur, where North Carolina’s Dylan Menante defended his title. After a Round-of-16 appearance at the North and South Amateur, Surratt was solo fourth at the Southern Amateur, won by North Carolina’s David Ford, and T-2 at the Pacific Coast Amateur, which Arizona State grad James Leow captured. Surratt, who likely was gassed after making the final of the U.S. Junior Amateur, capped the EAGS with a missed cut at the Western Amateur.
As a result of winning the Elite Amateur Cup, Surratt receives exemptions into the PGA Tour’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship in October, a 2023 Korn Ferry Tour event of his choosing among five available and 2023 U.S. Open final qualifying.
“I've learned a lot this summer, and plan to take these lessons into future events, including the future opportunities afforded to me by the EAGS,” Surratt said. “It has just hit me this week that in just over two months, I'll be competing against the world's best in the PGA Tour’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship.”
Zuska gets similar exemptions, though he’s into the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open next season and will get to pick his KFT start after Surratt decides. Lewis, Tommy Morrison and Karl Vilips receive one KFT start and U.S. Open final qualifying spot apiece.
All of the top five also get into the U.S. Amateur next week at Ridgewood if not already qualified.