U.S. Amateur has long history with New England
23 Jul 2014
by Benjamin Larsen of AmateurGolf.com

see also: U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, Cherry Hills Country Club, Peter Uihlein Rankings

Peter Uihlein
Peter Uihlein

The U.S. Amateur Championship heads to Atlanta Athletic Club this month but the game's biggest amateur event remains tied to the northeast and New England through an expansive recent and far off history.

The event, of course, was first held at the Newport Golf Club and was won by one C.B. Macdonald (ever heard of him?) way back in 1895. It has since graced the New England region on many occasions in many ways.

Most recently, the U.S. Amateur took over The Country Club in Brookline last August and displayed some of the most phenomenal play we've ever seen from amateurs as England's Matthew Fitzpatrick prevailed.

But there's plenty of history in between. And, as the amateur golf world prepares to crown another U.S. Amateur champion, here's a look at some of the moments that have defined the USGA major here in New England.

1928: Bobby Jones wins 4th title at Brae Burn Country Club

At the height of his appeal, infamous amateur Bobby Jones claimed No. 4 of his impressive five U.S. Amateur titles at the prestigious Donald Ross-designed West Newton, Mass. club.

Two years before he would famously win the game of golf's Grand Slam -- U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur and British Amateur -- Jones dominated Scot Philip Perkins 10-and-9 in the championship match.

1982: Sigel wins first title at The Country Club

The Country Club in Brookline hosted its fifth U.S. Amateur Championship in 1982 and it helped add to the legendary amateur resume compiled by Jay Sigel.

Prior to joining the Senior PGA Tour in 1993, Sigel enjoyed one of the most dominant amateur careers on record. Amidst his prime, he would win multiple titles at the Porter Cup, Sunnehanna and Northeast and won twice each at the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Mid- Amateur.

His victory in Brookline was a dominant one as he topped David Tolley 8-and-7 in the championship match.

1995: Tiger Woods wins at Newport Country Club

Who can forget the 1995 U.S. Amateur? The event came back to the place it started for its centennial celebration and, boy, did they put on a show. In the end, Woods would win the second of his three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles in what could perhaps be the most thrilling finale in U.S. Amateur history.

Marucci, then 43, took Woods -- the can't miss kid from Stanford -- to the limit. Marucci, who captained the 2013 U.S. Walker Cup team, took an early 3-up advantage and went toe-to-toe with Tiger before Woods pulled it out on the match's 36th hole.

2000: Massachusetts represented well at Baltusrol

The event wasn't held in the area but New England -- and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in particular -- sure was represented well at the 2000 U.S. Amateur.

Lee, Mass. native and former University of Rhode Island star Jim Salinetti, earned co- medalist honors during stroke-play qualifying before reaching the Round of 16 in match play.

Match play was exactly where Brookline native James Driscoll turned it on. The University of Virginia star made it all the way to the championship match before falling to Oregon's Jeff Quinney in 39 holes.

2010: Uihlein wins at Chambers Bay

New Bedford-born Peter Uihlein won one for the region in 2010. As part of his terrific amateur career, Uihlein, the son of Wally Uihlein, the Chairman and CEO of the Acushnet Company, Uihlein topped the field at Chambers Bay in Washington.

It was merely a starting point for Uihlein, who would become the world's top-ranked amateur before beginning his professional career, which includes a win on the European Tour.

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 14 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 in the spring at www.usga.org.

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