U.S. Open Notebook: Champ, Scheffler battle for low am
ERIN, Wisconsin (June 17, 2017) -- So the 84 year streak of no amateurs winning the U.S. Open isn't going to come to an end in Wisconsin.
Some records in sports may never be broken, and at least for now, Johnny Goodman's amateur win at the U.S. Open (by a single shot over Ralph Guldahl) in 1933 is looking pretty good. We've seen amateurs contend and make their way into the lead groups on the weekend at the U.S. Open. But it's the most grueling test of golf, and based on recent performances in other majors it's much more likely that an amateur will win either the Masters or Open Championship -- however those odds aren't too good either.
At Amateurgolf.com, we had a "major glimmer of hope" in 2015, when we along with the rest of the golf world were stunned at the "other" Open (across the pond) when an Irishman named Paul Dunne shared the 54-hole lead with Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen.
If you watched the front nine at St. Andrews unfold on Sunday, you know the "rest of the story." Amateur Jordan Niebrugge stole the limelight away from Dunne by finishing T6.
At Erin Hills, there has been no such Irish luck (because heck, we would settle for a 54-hole leader), despite the shamrock in the logo and the Irish names and influences all around. Just 14 amateurs, trying to find their way into contention, and maybe a shot of glory. Two of them were mid-ams Stewart Hagestad and Scott Harvey, a feat in itself since both made it through a grueling day 36-hole sectional qualifying.
Just two are playing the weekend.
Cameron Champ of Sacramento appeared to be in the best shape to make a run, with his practice round drives some 25 yards past Rory McIlroy and recent work with Sean Foley paying off in harnessing the speed he generates into more of a "controlled rage."
After rounds of 70-69 Champ was inside the top-10, but he slipped to 30th after a hard-fought round of 73. After going out in 40, Champ gutted out 4 birdies on the back nine to shoot 33 and stay inside the top-20 at T17. He's 4-under par, which sounds good at most Opens, just not this one, where low scores like the 63 from Justin Thomas are ruling the day.
Players are figuring out how to score at Erin Hills. The only mystery is where the big names went.
Scottie Scheffler of Texas, who is playing his second-straight open, is 2-shots back of Champ at 2-under
ABOUT THE U.S. Open
The U.S. Open is the biggest of the 14 national
championships conducted by the USGA.
to amateurs and professionals.
The USGA intends to make the U.S. Open
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.
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