Porter Cup tees off, set to crown new champion
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Many amateur golf events stake their claim as 'one of the best' but only a few can truly take their place near the top of the heap.

At the top of that heap is undoubtedly the Porter Cup.

In its 56th year, the Porter Cup is as good as it gets in the amateur golf world. With Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Scott Verplank, Ben Crenshaw, Vinny Giles and Patrick Rodgers among its long list of winners, the Porter Cup prepares to crown another champion at the 2014 installment scheduled for July 22-26 at Niagara Falls Country Club.

Originally designed by A.W. Tillinghast and since revamped by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Geoffrey Cornish and Brian M. Silva, Niagara Falls Country Club is a unique test for what is widely considered the best field in all of amateur golf year in and year out.

Defending champion Taylor Pendrith won't be there to defend. He'll instead be trying his hand at the Canadian Open, along with fellow countryman and Kent State teammate Corey Conners.

While the absence of these two stars isn't ideal, the field remains tough to beat. As is the case in most years, the event features the game's top collegiate, mid-amateur and junior stars.

Leading the list of the NCAA's top stars is Will Murphy, the red-hot soon-to-be senior at South Carolina. He won the Azalea Invitational earlier this year and took the Sunnehanna Amateur last month. His solid showing at the prestigious Northeast Amateur and subsequent U.S. Amateur qualification has him as undoubtedly one of the players with the experience needed to navigate the field and narrow fairways at the Porter Cup.

Matthew NeSmith, a teammate of Murphy's at South Carolina, is also a player to watch. NeSmith has been consistent since hitting the national scene when he won the Azalea in 2012. He recently took third at the Palmetto Amateur.

Bryson Dechambeau of SMU should contend, too. Last year, he won the Trans-Miss and was second at the Sahalee Players. This season, he's secured Top 20s at the Northeast and Sunnehanna. He was also a member of the U.s. Palmer Cup team thanks to his stellar NCAA play.

Auburn's Michael Johnson is another player to follow. After winning last year's Dogwood Invitational title in record fashion, Johnson took some time off to rehab an injury. Since his return, he's contended but is seeking another breakthrough victory.

Other college-aged stars likely to be in the mix include local favorite and Texas star Gavin Hall, former SMU golfer Max Buckley, Chris Hemmerich, the recent Ontario Amateur winner, recent two-time Carolinas Amateur winner Carter Jenkins, Texas' Beau Hossler, Denny McCarthy of Virginia and former U.S. Open qualifier Cory McElyea. Incoming college players Zachary Bauchou (Virginia) and Doug Ghim (Texas) should also be in the mix with their recent strong play. Ghim recently tied for medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur Public Links.

The field will also have quite the international feel with Australia's Dale Brandt-Richards and Geoff Drakeford, Keelan Kilpatrick of New Zealand (and Cal) and South Africa's Zander Lombard undoubtedly in the mix. The exemption partnership between the event and the Australian Master of the Amateurs.

One of the best parts of the Porter Cup field each year is its nod to the game's top mid-amateur stars. This year will be no different with reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy, red-hot Canadian Garrett Rank, 2013 Stocker Cup champion John Sawin, longtime Missouri mid-am Skip Berkmeyer and Matt Crenshaw, a rising player from the Carolinas.

The action tees off Wednesday with the final round scheduled for Saturday, July 26. AmateurGolf.com will have full coverage of the event.

Results For Porter Cup Invitational Golf Tournament
1AustraliaGeoffrey DrakefordAustralia150067-66-68-71-272
T2CABeau HosslerMission Viejo, CA100072-68-65-68-273
T2MDDenny McCarthyBurtonsville, MD100068-67-73-65-273
4AustraliaBen EcclesAustralia70067-70-67-70-274
5CABobby HoldenSimi Valley, CA70067-69-70-69-275

View full results for Porter Cup Invitational Golf Tournament

ABOUT THE Porter Cup

One of the premier amateur events in the nation, this 72-hole stroke play invitational has lots of extra activities that give this event a special flavor. The winning player receives a green blazer, as well as an invitation to the Master of the Amateurs tournament in Melbourne, Australia. Pre- tournament qualifying is in early July and approximately five spots are available. The qualifying field is open to the first 90 entrants with handicaps less than 3.

View Complete Tournament Information

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