Californians looking for first U.S. Amateur victory since 2002
11 Aug 2014
by Conner Penfold of AmateurGolf.com

see also: U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, Hazeltine National Golf Club, Beau Hossler Rankings

Beau Hossler
Beau Hossler

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (August 10, 2014) — It's been 12 years since a Californian has grasped the Havemeyer Trophy. Stockton native Ricky Barnes defeated Hunter Mahan at Oakland Hills Country Club in 2002, just one year after Sacramento's Robert Hamilton lost on the 18th hole to Bubba Dickerson.

Coming off last year's event at The Country Club, which featured the first meeting between two non- Americans in the U.S. Amateur final in history, three Californians have lost in the final. As recently as 2012, Fresno's Michael Weaver lost in heart- breaking fashion on the 37th hole after his potentially match-winning putt on the previous hole hit a spike mark halfway to the cup, eventually lipping out. The year before, Patrick Cantlay of Long Beach lost two-down to Kelly Kraft at Erin Hills. And back in 2005 at Merion, Woodland's Dillon Dougherty lost 4-and-3 to Edoardo Molinari.

Now, as Atlanta Athletic Club, a venue renowned with championship golf history, prepares to host its first U.S. Amateur, 45 Californians will be in the field looking to be the final man standing on Sunday. Seven of the those 45 are currently ranked in the top-50 of the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Player Rankings. Let's take a look at the seven, as well as a few other California favorites who might end the week victorious at the Highlands course.

Sixth-ranked Beau Hossler (pictured top) of Mission Viejo is the top-ranked Californian and second highest ranked American player in the field. The University of Texas golfer is coming off a huge victory at the Western Amateur and will be playing in his fourth U.S. Amateur. He became a household name in 2012 when at the age of 17, he became the youngest player to make the cut at the U.S. Open since World War II.

Brian Campbell
Brian Campbell of Irvine, who will be a senior in the fall at the University of Illinois, is the 14th-ranked amateur in the world. His most recent accomplishments include placing second at the 2012 Northern Amateur and winning this year's NCAA Central Regional. He also tied for fourth at the Trans-Mississippi Championship in July.

Xander Schauffele
20-year-old Xander Schauffele of San Diego reached the round of 16 last year, losing to eventual runner-up Oliver Goss. Schauffele will be a senior at San Diego State University where he is a three-time first-team all- Mountain West Conference performer. The 2014 California State Amateur champion, where he defeated Beau Hossler in the final, was also runner-up in consecutive Southern California Amateurs — 2012- 2013.

Eli Cole
Beverly Hills native Eli Cole, who played collegiately for Texas Christian University, is most known for his 2013 triumph where he fended off top-ranked Canadian golfers Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith to win the Canadian Amateur. The 28th-ranked player became the first American to win the event since 2002, ending a streak of 10 consecutive Canadian winners.

Bryson DeChambeau
Southern Methodist University junior Bryson DeChambeau, who hails from Clovis, will be playing in his seventh USGA championship and fourth consecutive U.S. Amateur. He was a U.S. Amateur Public Links quarterfinalist and has advanced to match play in all six previous USGA events played. The second-team All-American won the American Athletic Conference title and was ninth at the NCAA Championships. He also won the Trans- Mississippi Championship in 2013 by five shots.

Byron Meth
The University of Pacific senior and San Diego native will always be remembered as the last golfer to win the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship as the tournament ceased existence after the 2014 running. Ranked No. 36 in the world following his big win, Meth captured the 2014 West Coast Conference individual title by seven strokes. He'll be playing in his first U.S. Amateur.

Rico Hoey
Rounding out the Californians in the top-50 is University of Southern California sophomore Rico Hoey of Rancho Cucamonga. Hoey led the Trojan team in scoring average his freshman year en route to winning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors. In 2014, he has medaled at the U.S. Amateur Public Links, tied for sixth at the Canadian Amateur, and placed fifth at the Sunnehanna Amateur.

Other notable California born players in the 312- man field include 2014 Trans-Mississippi runner- up Alex Franklin of San Rafael, 18-year-old Maverick McNealy of Portola Valley, and 2014 Canadian Amateur runner-up Jonathan Garrick of Atherton.

The first round of stroke play begins Monday morning at 7:45 am EST. Competitors will be playing both the Highlands and Riverside courses at Atlanta Athletic Club during stroke play, then moving strictly to the Highlands Course for match play.

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.

View Complete Tournament Information

Latest in 

Amateurgolf.com, Inc.
6965 El Camino Real 105-631
Carlsbad, CA 92009

Instagram X Facebook YouTube