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USGA Year in Review
23 Dec 2013
by United States Golf Association

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(USGA/John Mummert)
(USGA/John Mummert)
The USGA added 13 players to its roster of national champions in 2013, but some of our favorite stories of the year weren’t necessarily about the winning putt or the turning point in a match. This is the fifth in a six-part series that reviews some of the compelling stories that you might have missed in our 2013 championship coverage.



TRUE MATE WATT TOILS FOR GOSS AFTER LOSING TO HIM

Brady Watt of Australia had just suffered a tough semifinal defeat last August in the U.S. Amateur Championship, when a victory not only would have given him a shot at the Havemeyer Trophy, but also a guaranteed berth in the 2014 U.S. Open and a likely spot in the 2014 Masters Tournament.

Oliver Goss, his opponent and a fellow Aussie, had holed several long putts, including an 18- foot birdie to take the lead for good and an unlikely 30-footer for another birdie and a half when it seemed that Watt would square the match. So what did Watt do after Goss had finished him off, 2 up? He agreed to caddie for his countryman in the next day’s championship match at The Country Club. READ MORE »

INSPIRED SCHEFFLER WINS U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR

Scottie Scheffler’s eyes welled with tears and he struggled to get the words out.

Moments earlier, the 17-year-old Texan had been handed the large silver cup as the new U.S. Junior Amateur champion. But the 3-and- 2 final-match victory over Davis Riley at Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif., in which he overcame a late 2-hole deficit, wasn’t the sole cause of this outpouring of emotion.

As a national audience looked on, Golf Channel reporter Steve Burkowski finished his on- camera interview with the new champion by asking Scheffler about James Ragan, his 20- year-old friend back in Houston. READ MORE »

SENIOR OPEN FANS RALLY AROUND UNDERDOG PETER HORROBIN

There was no debate in July over who had endured the most hardscrabble, circuitous route to the 2013 U.S. Senior Open in Omaha, Neb.

Peter Horrobin survived a playoff in sectional qualifying to become the first Jamaican to play in the championship. However, that distinction does not begin to describe the hardships overcome by the 52-year-old, who started playing golf as a child in Kingston using a broken club affixed to a PVC pipe.

After an opening round highlighted by a birdie- eagle combination that briefly gave him a share of the lead, Horrobin admitted that he had battled his emotions all day. “I’m just a crybaby. I still can’t believe I’m here playing alongside the best senior players in the world. I played 18 holes today, drying my eyes from tears.” READ MORE »

NATIVE AMERICAN PLAYERS FIND FAMILY CONNECTIONS IN OKLAHOMA

The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links in June was much more than a national championship for at least two contestants in the field.

The WAPL, which was played at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla., provided both Shawnee Martinez, 19, of Modesto, Calif., and Erika Salinas, 23, of Sacramento, Calif., with an opportunity to meet and spend time with their respective Native American families, and to gain a sense of community through their family heritage. READ MORE »

FISCHER GOES OVERTIME TO QUALIFY FOR U.S. OPEN

It has earned the moniker “Golf’s Longest Day” for a reason.

U.S. Open sectional qualifying is 36 holes of grueling, pressure-packed competition with only a handful of available spots into the championship field.

It’s as arduous as it is agonizing.

But Zack Fischer and Ryan Palmer added a new level to the proceedings when they dueled for the fourth and final qualifying spot among 68 players at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas on June 3 – and June 4. READ MORE »
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