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2013 U.S. Open: Meet the amateurs
12 Jun 2013
by Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com

see also: U.S. Open Golf Championship, Erin Hills Golf Course

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The 113th playing of the U.S. Open Championship marks the 100th anniversary of Francis Ouimet's improbable and remarkable victory at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

Ouimet, considered the father of amateur golf and a big reason for golf's initial interest among the American public, topped two of the game's greats in that memorable 18-hole playoff in 1913.

The U.S. Open has been won seven times since Ouimet opened the door but it hasn't happened since 1933. Could this, the 100th anniversary of Ouimet's win, be the year an amateur returns to the top of the leaderboard?

Ten amateurs will be part of the field Thursday when play begins at historic Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Penn. Learn a bit more about these elite players and their games below.

Amateurgolf.com will be following their progress throughout the tournament.


Steven Fox
Steven Fox - Reigning U.S. Amateur Champion

Fox, a recent graduate and top NCAA golfer at Tennessee-Chatanooga, gained entry into the U.S. Open with his victory over Michael Weaver at last year's U.S. Amateur. Fox missed the cut in his Masters appeareance this past April but represented the U.S. in a victorious World Amateur Team victory last year. Fox heads to Merion with strong play in major amateur events but little success of late. Fox is ranked No. 13 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Player Rankings.




Michael Weaver
Michael Weaver - U.S. Amateur runner- up

The first Cal golfer to play at The Masters, Weaver enters the field on the merit of his 2012 U.S. Amateur runner-up. Weaver nearly won the 36-hole final against Fox, falling in dramatic fashion before showing resilience in helping Cal to historic NCAA season. Weaver enters the U.S. Open fresh off an All-American season. Weaver is ranked No. 15 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Player Rankings.





Chris Williams
Chris Williams - 2012 Mark H. McCormack Winner

Williams, the reigning McCormack Medal winner given to the leading World Amateur Golf Ranking player at year's end, recently finished his stellar collegiate career at Washington. Set to turn professional at next week's Travelers Championship, was a quarterfinalist at last year's U.S. Amateur and 2011 Walker Cup team member. His complete tee-to-green game could fare well at soggy Merion in his final event as an amateur. Williams is ranked No. 2 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Player Rankings.




Cory McElyea
Cory McElyea - T4 Newport Beach, Calif. Sectional

An underrated amateur, McElyea is a junior at the University of San Francisco. He gained entry into the U.S. Open by surviving a three- man playoff at the recent Newport Beach, Calif. sectional qualifier. A first-team All-West Coast Conference performer, McElyea is one of four amateurs from California in this week's field.






Max Homa
Max Homa - T4 Newport Beach, Calif. Sectional

Perhaps the hottest player in all of amateur golf, Homa qualified for the U.S Open on the strength of his play at the Newport Beach, Calif. qualifier. In May, Homa claimed the individual medalist honors at both the Pac-12 and NCAA Championships. His course-record 61 in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament at Los Angeles Country Club helped him clear the field by five shots. He finished 9-under to win the NCAA Championship. Of all the amateurs in the field, Homa stands a strong chance of remaining in contention through Sunday. His length and accuracy from 150 yards and in may make him a name to watch at Merion. Homa is ranked No. 16 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Player Rankings.


Kevin Phelan
Kevin Phelan - Medalist Bradenton, Fla. Sectional

Phelan is undoubtedly rising in the eyes of amateur golf insiders. The Ireland native who recently wrapped up a stellar career at University of North Florida, qualified for his second U.S. Open. He was a four-time All- Atlantic Sun Conference player and reached the semifinals of the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links. Phelan is currently ranked No. 18 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Player Rankings.





Michael Kim
Michael Kim - Co-medalist Ball Ground, Ga. Sectional

Kim is arguably the most talented amateur in the field this year. The incoming junior at top- ranked Cal was recently named the Haskins Award winner, given to the top player in college golf, in addition to receiving the Jack Nicklaus Award as Division I's top player. Kim qualified by earning co-medalist honors at the Ball Ground, Georgia sectional qualifier. His consistent play and ability to withstand pressure will undoubtedly serve him well this week at Merion. Kim is ranked No. 18 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Player Rankings.




Grayson Murray
Grayson Murray - 3rd Ball Ground, Ga. Sectional

Murray, a recent transfer to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, qualified for the U.S. Open by placing third at the Ball Ground, Georgia qualifier. While he hasn't had any major victories, Murray qualified for the U.S. Amateur and reached U.S. Open sectional qualifying as a 15-year-old in 2009.






Gavin Hall
Gavin Hall - Co-medalist Purchase, NY Sectional

Hall, 19, qualified for the U.S. Open by making birdie on his final four holes to race up the leaderboard and take co-medalist medalist honors at the recent Purchase, NY sectional qualifier. The Texas-bound Hall hopes to follow in fellow Longhorns signee Beau Hossler's footsteps and remain in contention throughout the weekend at the U.S. Open.






Cheng-Tsung Pan
Cheng- Tsung Pan - 2nd Cle Elum, Wash. Sectional

A sophomore at Washington, Pan reached the U.S. Open on his strong finish at the Cle Elum, Wash. sectional qualifier. Pan has qualified for the U.S. amateur in five of the last six years and became the youngest quarterfinalists since Bobby Jones in 2007 at age 15. Pan is currently ranked No. 6 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Player Rankings.

ABOUT THE U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is one of 13 national championships conducted by the USGA. Open to amateurs and professionals.

The USGA intends to make the U.S. Open the most rigorous, yet fair, examination of golf skills, testing all forms of shot-making. The USGA prepares the course after careful consideration of 14 different factors. The complete philosophy statement can be found on www.usopen.com.

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