LIVE SCORING: 2015 U.S. Amateur from Olympia Fields
Olympia Fields Country Club (USGA photo)
Olympia Fields Country Club (USGA photo)


OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. — Two non-American finalists met in the U.S. Amateur championship match for the first time in 2013 at The Country Club. It was Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick facing Australian Oliver Goss.

Crazy that it took 113 years for that to occur. Interesting that it happened for a second time just a year later, last year at Atlanta Athletic Club, when Gunn Yang of Korea defeated Corey Conners of Canada.

Will an American return to the finale at Olympia Fields? Fitzpatrick's victory two years ago ended a small string of three consecutive American winners, beginning with Peter Uihlein in 2010 at Chambers Bay. Many of the hottest amateur players in the world right now are of American blood, but that hasn't stopped the international field from running the table.

Regardless of nationality, let's take a look at the top-5 candidates to win this year's U.S. Amateur, with a few dark horses thrown in on top for good measure. Hey, we are just a year removed from Yang's triumph, who was the lowest ranked player to ever hoist the Havemeyer Trophy.

Jon Rahm — The obvious choice. The Spaniard Rahm is the No. 1 ranked player in both the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Rankings and the World Amateur Golf Rankings. He won the individual portion of last year's World Amateur Team Championship — a top-5 international field each year — and more recently repeated in Spain at the Spanish National Stroke Play. He won the NCAA Southwest Regional before snagging a top-25 in the National Championship, and even placed fifth at the PGA Tour's Waste Management Open. He would have made proud the former Sun Devil Phil Mickelson, the most recent amateur to win a PGA Tour event. Now he'd like to check another event off his list that Mickelson already accomplished — win a U.S. Amateur.

Maverick McNealy — The second highest-ranked amateur in the world. Likely being overshadowed by Rahm's remarkable year. But in the United States, no one has been better than the Stanford Cardinal junior. The 2015 Pac- 12 Player-of- the-Year destroyed golf courses this spring, winning four times in major college events, including the Pac-12 Championship and the NCAA Southeast Regional, and even finished runner-up at the Pacific Coast Amateur two weeks ago.

Aaron Wise — We can go ahead and make this University of Oregon the hottest amateur golfer in the nation right now. The Lake Elsinore, Calif. native will enter next week's event having almost won both the Pacific Coast Amateur and the Western Amateur in consecutive weeks. He lost to Dawson Armstrong's hole-out eagle on the second playoff hole at Rich Harvest Farms a week after beating out both McNealy and Beau Hossler at the Pacific Coast Amateur. He also finished runner-up to McNealy at the Pac-12 Championship.

Robby Shelton — Like Rahm, Shelton has unparalleled success this year in a professional setting. He placed third at the Barbasol Championship, which was played concurrently during the British Open and in his home state of Alabama. Though not as strong of a field as Rahm's top-5 at the Waste Management, Shelton can still add the performance, in which he defeated professionals like Aaron Baddeley, Johnson Wagner, and Trevor Immelman, to his 2015 resume. Other than the NCAA Regionals and National Championship, likely the strongest collegiate field of the spring was the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, which Shelton won by six. He placed third at the SEC Championship and is fresh off a medalist and semifinal performance at the Western Amateur, where he lost to eventual winner Dawson Armstrong.

Romain Langasque — Match play takes a special breed of golfer to succeed. Some golfers are just good at the format. Well, then who better than to pick (if you're picking) to win this year's U.S. Amateur than the champion of the most recent 64-player, match play bracketed tournament? Frenchman Romain Langasque was victorious over Scotsman Grant Forrest at Carnoustie back in June for the British Amateur Championship. Let's just hope he fairs better than the previous year's British Amateur winner, Bradley Neil, did at Atlanta Athletic Club, missing the match play cut by nine strokes.


Gunn Yang was a dark horse last year. Dawson Armstrong was certainly a dark horse last week at Rich Harvest Farms. No reason not to think someone might come out of the woodwork to claim improbable victory at Olympia Fields. Here are two in particular that we like:

Carter Jenkins — The UNC transfer junior is the three-time defending champion of the Carolinas Amateur, reached U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying, and made a furious comeback to tie Denny McCarthy and force a playoff at the Porter Cup. He's ranked outside the top-100 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Rankings (124).

Sean Crocker — As a true freshman, Crocker led his USC Trojans to the championship match of the NCAA Men's National Championship. The native of Zimbabwe doesn't have a major victory to his name in 2015, but his time could come at Olympia Fields, and he's shown signs of coming close this year. Important top-5 finishes include the Sahalee Players Championship (2nd), The Prestige at PGA West (T4), and the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters (5th).

Results For U.S. Amateur Golf Championship
WinCABryson DeChambeauClovis, CA2000
Runner-upNYDerek BardNew Hartford, NY1500
SemifinalsJapanKenta KonishiJapan1000
SemifinalsCASean CrockerLong Beach, CA1000
QuarterfinalsSpainJon RahmSpain700

View full results for U.S. Amateur Golf Championship

ABOUT THE U.S. Amateur

The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA championship, was first played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. It is the pre-eminent amateur competition in the world. Applications are typically placed online, starting the third week in April at www.usga.org.

View Complete Tournament Information

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