PINEHURST, N.C. (Aug. 6, 2008)--On August 18th, 312 of the world's top amateurs will converge on historic Pinehurst to compete in the nation's oldest event, the U.S. Amateur. The event will take place over seven days, with two days at of stroke play at course No.'s 2 and 4, followed by five days of match play at No. 2. For a full list of qualifiers, click here.
This year, the top two competitors from last year's event have both turned professional. Colt Knost, who also won the U.S. Public Links, turned pro before he had a chance to take his spot in the 2008 Masters, as was his right with the victory, while Michael Thompson turned pro a day after becoming the low amateur at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
This year, the favorites have to include the four remaining members from the victorious 2007 Walker Cup team: Rickie Fowler, Jamie Lovemark, Billy Horschel and Kyle Stanley.
Of those four, Rickie Fowler would likely be the favorite of most experts, after becoming the youngest ever Walker Cupper and becoming the first freshman ever to win the Ben Hogan award, given to the nation's top collegiate player. He has shown a knack for the big moment, briefly enjoying a spot near the top of the leaderboard in the U.S. Open after carding an opening round of 1-under 69.
Jamie Lovemark took an opportunity to get an early look at the course when he competed in the North and South Amateur, taking runner-up honors in the process.
Kyle Stanley had a dramatic, come-from-behind win at the Southern Amateur, and should be one to watch, while Billy Horschel has proven his worth at U.S. Amateurs by shooting a course-record 60 in stroke play in 2006.
Another player to watch is Danny Lee, coming off a victory in the grueling, prestigious Western Amateur (which gave him the lead in the amateurgolf.com - Bridgestone Golf Player of the Year chase).
amateurgolf.com members snatched up 14 spots in the field (at last count, let us know if we overlooked you!). Those players are:
Be sure to check back in with us at the end of the month for video coverage from Pinehurst.