From left to right: Shirley, Harvey, Greenlief, White (USGA image)
The United States Golf Association has selected four national champions to represent the USA at the 2016 South American Amateur Championship, to be contested Jan. 21-24 at Lima Golf Club in Lima, Peru.
Defending South American Amateur champion and 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Scott Harvey, 37, of Kernersville, N.C., and reigning U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion Todd White, 48, of Spartanburg, S.C., will join 2014 and 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champions Margaret Shirley, 29, of Atlanta, Ga., and Lauren Greenlief, 25, of Reston, Va., respectively, in the South American Amateur field.
This marks the second consecutive year that the USGA will send an official delegation to the championship, which is being conducted for the 11th time.
Harvey became the first player from the United States to win the South American Amateur when he topped Patricio Alzamora, of Peru, Joaquin Niemann, of Chile, and Andre Tourinho, of Brazil, by two strokes in 2015 at Lima Golf Club. Harvey won the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship with a 6-and-5 victory over Brad Nurski at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa., as well as the 2011 Carolinas Amateur Championship. He is a two-time Carolinas Mid-Amateur champion and played on the 2015 United States Walker Cup Team.
Earlier this year, Greenlief became the youngest champion in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur’s 29-year history by defeating Shirley, 2 and 1, at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, La. She’s also a three-time Virginia Women’s Stroke Play champion.
Shirley captured the 2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur with a 5-and-3 win over Julia Potter at Harbour Trees Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind. Shirley, who was runner-up to Potter in 2013, earned stroke-play medalist honors at 2-under 142, the second-lowest 36-hole qualifying score in championship history. She is a three-time Georgia Women’s Open champion and helped Georgia to its record-breaking fourth USGA Women’s State Team title in 2015.
White won the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship with partner Nathan Smith at The Olympic Club’s Lake Course in San Francisco, Calif. The 2013 Walker Cup teammates defeated Sherrill Britt and Greg Earnhardt, 7 and 5, in the inaugural event. White has also won the South Carolina Amateur and South Carolina Mid-Amateur championships and is a four-time South Carolina Player of the Year.
The South American Amateur Championship is a 72-hole, individual stroke-play competition for men and women. The Peruvian Golf Federation will conduct the 2016 championship in conjunction with the South American Golf Federation. Sofia Garcia, of Paraguay, was the women’s champion in 2015. Shirley finished in a tie for 14th.