By Sean Martin, Golfweek
CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. – Chris Williams may have lost in Friday’s U.S. Amateur quarterfinals, but he still received some good news: he clinched the Mark H. McCormack Medal, an honor that earns him starts in the 2013 U.S. Open and Open Championship.
The McCormack Medal is given to the No. 1 player in the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking after the European Amateur or U.S. Amateur, whichever is held later. The European Amateur, won by Rhys Pugh, was held last week.
The R&A confirmed that No. 5 Justin Thomas, who will play Saturday in the U.S. Amateur semifinals, cannot earn enough points to pass Williams. Nor can No. 4 Daan Huizing of the Netherlands, who is competing this week in his nation’s open championship. Thomas is the only top-20 player still alive in the U.S. Amateur.
Hideki Matsuyama, the world’s No. 2 amateur, missed the 36-hole cut at the U.S. Amateur. Third-ranked Jordan Spieth lost in the Round of 64. Williams is not losing any ranking points this week, so it is not possible for those players to pass him, according to the R&A.
Williams lost, 4 and 2, to Chattanooga’s Steven Fox in Friday’s U.S. Amateur quarterfinals. Williams also tied for seventh in stroke play this week. He held the No. 1 ranking earlier this summer, then regained the top spot with his performance at the Western Amateur, where he was both medalist and champion.
The 2013 U.S. Open is scheduled for June 13-16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Next year’s Open Championship will be held July 18-21 at Muirfield in Scotland.