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U.S. Open Ams: Representing the 99.7 percent of golfers
The 14 Amateurs Playing the 2017 U.S. Open
The 14 Amateurs Playing the 2017 U.S. Open
By Art Stricklin, for AmateurGolf.com

ERIN, Wisconsin (June 14, 2017) – Texas amateur Scottie Scheffler will be one of 14 amateurs who tees it up Thursday in the 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills Golf Course, but the incoming University of Texas senior said he will be playing for more than that when he tees it up against the best players in the world for America’s national golf championship.

Related: U.S. Open: Tee times for the 14 Amateurs in the Field

“In a sense we’re playing for all the amateur players in golf. We all stick together and amateurs are the backbone of golf,” Scheffler as he dodged raindrops for his final practice round. “I want to do well, but I think we all want each other to do well.”

This will be the second-straight U.S. Open as an amateur for Scheffler -- having made it through sectional qualifying two years in a row. He says the second year should be easier than his first time where he missed the cut at last year’s Open at Oakmont Golf Club outside of Pittsburgh.

“I won’t be as nervous this year and I think I know what to expect. It’s going to be a fun week,” he said, with his sister Callie as his caddy.

California mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad also he was counting on less nerves this week after capturing low amateur honors at the 2017 Masters.

“After what I did in April, I think the nerves will be less. The players are the same and the ball still doesn’t know who’s hitting it.”

Hagestad said he has also had a look at the Amateur field this week at Erin Hills and feels there is plenty of competition if he is going to get his second-straight low amateur title in a major.

“There are so many good amateurs out here with guys like Brad Dalke, Maverick McNealy, Scottie Scheffler and so many others you will have to play good to advance. We all have the same goals to win and compete. I would like to do well enough (this year) to not have to qualify next year.”

Note: The top-15 and ties at a U.S. Open (pro or amateur) are exempt for the following year. Houston, Texas amateur Walker Lee has been inspired by golf legends, present and past, in his first U.S. Open quest this week.

He played with past U.S. Open champion Rory Mcllroy in a nine-hole practice round Monday after signing up for the round on a clubhouse computer, along with fellow amateur and future Texas A&M teammate Cameron Champ, and called it a great learning experience with the Irishman.

“I just basically followed him around for all nine holes to see how he approaches the course and his game. He hits it so long and straight out here, I don’t see how he could ever be over par.” During Thursday’s first round, Texas golf legend Jack Burke, Jr., is planning a rare U.S. Open visit along with his wife to see Lee, who he has mentored for years. Burke turned 94-years-old on January 29.

“It will be special to see him here and thank him for all the things he has done for me.”
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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