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VIDEO: Players to Watch at the U.S. Amateur
A star-studded field will battle for the Havemeyer Trophy at Riviera
A star-studded field will battle for the Havemeyer Trophy at Riviera
PACIFIC PALISADES, CA (August 13, 2017) - The 312-player field for the 117th U.S. Amateur Championship is set, and players will tee it up at Riviera CC and Bel-Air CC as stroke play begins on Monday with the biggest title in amateur golf, and a team full of Walker Cup bids up for grabs.

Related: 117th U.S. Amateur: A Closer Look at the Field
Related: U.S. Amateur Qualifying Roundup

The 2017 amateur summer season has been Epic so far, full of breakout performances in the U.S. and British Opens, as well as in the oldest and most prestigious amateur opens and invitationals.

Here is a look at some of the key players to watch:

Cameron Champ
Cameron Champ
Cameron Champ, 22, of Sacramento, Calif., was one of two amateurs to make the 36-hole cut in the 2017 U.S. Open, tying for 32nd. He won this year’s Trans-Mississippi Amateur by four strokes and was runner-up in the Pacific Coast Amateur. Champ, who was a semifinalist in the Western Amateur in Aug. and the medalist in the North & South Amateur in June, was chosen first-team All-Southeastern Conference and helped Texas A&M University finish second in the 2017 SEC Championship. Champ, a product of The First Tee program, tied for fifth individually at SECs. With his stellar play this summer Champ has risen to the #1 spot in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking

Braden Thornberry
Braden Thornberry
Braden Thornberry, 20, of Olive Branch, Miss., won the 2017 NCAA Division I individual title by four strokes with a 72-hole score of 11-under 277. Thornberry earned the Fred Haskins Award as the top collegiate golfer. He earned first-team All-America and first-team All-Southeastern Conference recognition as a sophomore at the University of Mississippi. He tied for third in the SEC Championship and finished fourth at the NCAA Austin Regional. In 2017, Thornberry won the Sunnehanna Amateur in a three-hole playoff with Collin Morikawa and tied for fourth in the PGA Tour’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, the best finish by an amateur in the tournament since 1965. Thornberry held the World #1 ranking before Champ unseated him at the Western Amateur.


Braden Thornberry's Summer of 2017 Highlight Reel

Sam Burns
Sam Burns
Sam Burns, 21, of Shreveport, La., was chosen 2017 NCAA Division I Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year as a sophomore at Louisiana State University. He won the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and was voted the Southeastern Conference’s top player. Burns, who is competing in his fourth U.S. Amateur and has reached the Round of 32 twice, advanced to the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball semifinals with partner Austin Connelly. Burns, who won three consecutive individual state high school titles, tied for sixth in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship on July 23 and was fifth in the Northeast Amateur.

Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa, 20, of La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., advanced to the Round of 16 in last year’s U.S. Amateur. Morikawa earned first-team All-America and first-team Pac-12 Conference honors as a sophomore at the University of California. He was chosen 2016 Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year. Morikawa, who competed in his first USGA championship at the 2015 U.S. Amateur, won the 2017 Northeast Amateur by two strokes. He was the Sunnehanna Amateur runner-up, losing to Braden Thornberry in a three-hole playoff, and tied for second in the Trans-Mississippi Amateur.

Scottie Scheffler
Scottie Scheffler
Scottie Scheffler, 21, of Dallas, Texas, was the low amateur in this year’s U.S. Open when he tied for 27th with a 72-hole score of 1-under 287 at Erin Hills. He earned first-team All-America and All-Big 12 Conference honors and helped the University of Texas win this year’s Big 12 Championship and was NCAA regional runner-up. He tied for third at the NCAA Championship. He is competing in his sixth U.S. Amateur and 12th USGA championship. Scheffler, the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, was a member of the USA team that tied for sixth in the 2016 World Amateur Team Championship.



Maverick McNealy
Maverick McNealy
Maverick McNealy, 21, of Portola Valley, Calif., earned the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the world’s top-ranked amateur in 2016. He is competing in his ninth USGA championship and fourth U.S. Amateur. McNealy was a first-team All-America and first-team All-Pac-12 Conference selection for the third consecutive season as a senior at Stanford University. McNealy, who was a member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team, was the recipient of the Ben Hogan Award, as the nation’s top collegiate player, and received the Byron Nelson Award and Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He competed in this year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills and The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and tied for 44th in the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic.

Sahith Theegala
Sahith Theegala
Sahith Theegala, 19, of Chino Hills, Calif., reached the quarterfinals of the 2016 U.S. Amateur and qualified for this year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills. A rising junior at Pepperdine University, he was chosen West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Year and earned first-team All-WCC honors for the second consecutive year. Theegala, a third-team All-America selection, tied for fourth in the NCAA Stanford Regional and tied for 19th in the NCAA Championship. In February, Theegala won the Collegiate Showcase to earn a spot in the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open and went on to tie for 49th. He is playing in his seventh USGA championship.

Doug Ghim
Doug Ghim
Doug Ghim, 21, of Arlington Heights, Ill., is competing in his fourth consecutive U.S. Amateur. Ghim was chosen first-team All-American and Big 12 Conference Player of the Year as a junior at the University of Texas. He helped the Longhorns win the Big 12 when he tied for second individually. Ghim was also the runner-up in the NCAA Austin Regional. In 2017, he won the Pacific Coast Amateur by one stroke with a 72-hole score of 9-under 275 and was fourth in the Northeast Amateur. Ghim was the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links runner-up to Byron Meth and a semifinalist in the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur.

Derek Bard
Derek Bard
Derek Bard, 22, of New Hartford, N.Y., was the 2015 U.S. Amateur runner-up, losing to Bryson DeChambeau in the final. Played four years at the University of Virginia, where he was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference team selection. He is competing in his seventh USGA championship. Bard, who played in the U.S. Open and the Masters in 2016, won this year’s Monroe Invitational, was a semifinalist in the Western Amateur, tied for sixth in the Sunnehanna Amateur and tied for 11th in the Porter Cup. Bard also won the 2013 New York State Federation and 2012 New York State Public High School championships.

Dylan Perry
Dylan Perry
Dylan Perry, 22, of Australia, is playing in his first USGA championship. He was the runner-up to Harry Ellis in The Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A, losing in 38 holes. Perry also tied for 10th in this year’s European Amateur. He advanced to the Round of 32 in the 2017 Australian Amateur and was fourth in the Avondale Medal. This summer he has competed in the U.S., finishing in the final 16 at the Western Amateur and T13 at the Southern Amateur. At age 8, Perry was introduced to golf following a motorbike accident.

Alfie Plant
Alfie Plant
Alfie Plant, 25, of England, earned the silver medal as the low amateur in this year’s Open Championship, conducted by The R&A. He won the European Amateur on July 1 with a birdie on the fifth playoff hole and reached the Round of 32 in the Australian Amateur. Plant, who was the 2016 Lytham Trophy champion and was the runner-up in the 2015 English Amateur, holed a 9-foot birdie putt on the final hole to help England finish second in the 2016 World Amateur Team Championship. He tied for third as an individual with a final-round 66. Plant has also run a marathon, parachuted from a plane, bungee jumped and gone cage-diving among great white sharks. He is playing in his first USGA championship.

Noah Goodwin
Noah Goodwin
Noah Goodwin, 17, of Corinth, Texas, won the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur by defeating Matthew Wolff, 1 up, in the 36-hole final. He rallied from 4 down with eight holes to play. Goodwin became the third player to win after being runner-up the previous year, joining Mason Rudolph (1950) and Tim Straub (1983). Goodwin, who is competing in his seventh USGA championship, qualified for match play in the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Amateurs. He has the same swing coach (Cameron McCormick) as 2015 U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth. His father, Jeff, is a professor of kinesiology at the University of North Texas.

Brad Dalke
Brad Dalke
Brad Dalke, 19, of Norman, Okla., helped the University of Oklahoma capture the 2017 NCAA Championship by winning the decisive match in the victory over Oregon. Dalke, who won the NCAA Stanford Regional, was the runner-up to Curtis Luck in last year’s U.S. Amateur and played in the 2017 Masters. Dalke, who is competing in his eighth USGA championship and third U.S. Amateur, was a member of the USA team that tied for sixth at the 2016 World Amateur Team Championship. His father (Bill) was a starting linebacker on Oklahoma’s 1975 national championship football team and his mother (Kay Pryor) played on the first Oklahoma women’s golf team.

Joaquin Niemann
Joaquin Niemann
Joaquin Niemann, 18, of Chile, played in this year’s U.S. Open and advanced to the Round of 16 in last year’s U.S. Amateur. Niemann rose to No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ this spring. In 2017, he won the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley and the AJGA Sergio Garcia Foundation Junior and tied for second in the Latin America Amateur Championship, losing on the second playoff hole. After winning the Mexican International Amateur, Niemann tied for 29th in the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic, carding a final-round 64 on July 9.

Stewart Hagestad
Stewart Hagestad
Stewart Hagestad, 26, of Newport Beach, Calif., is competing in his eighth U.S. Amateur. He won the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur by defeating Scott Harvey in 37 holes. Hagestad, who became the second-youngest champion, produced the largest comeback victory (4 down with 5 holes to play) since a 36-hole Mid-Amateur final was introduced in 2001. He was the low amateur in the 2017 Masters Tournament, tying for 36th. Hagestad was a member of the University of Southern California (USC) golf team and graduated in 2013. He was chosen 2016 Metropolitan Golf Association Player of the Year.



Norman Xiong
Norman Xiong
Norman Xiong, 18, of Canyon Lake, Calif., is competing in his first U.S. Amateur. He earned the 2017 Phil Mickelson Award as Division I’s top freshman while playing at the University of Oregon. The Ducks won the Pac-12 Conference Championship, finish third at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and reached the NCAA match-play final against Oklahoma. Xiong was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. He defeated Doc Redman in 22 holes to win the Western Amateur on Aug. 5. Xiong won the 2015 CIF/SCGA Regional as a sophomore at Temescal Canyon High School.

Will Zalatoris
Will Zalatoris
Will Zalatoris, 20, of Plano, Texas, earned first-team All-America honors and was the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year as a junior at Wake Forest University. He posted a pair of top-5 finishes in the ACC and NCAA Austin Regional tournaments. Zalatoris, who won the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur, is competing in his fifth consecutive U.S. Amateur, including three straight in which he has advanced to match play. He finished third in this year’s Pacific Coast Amateur and tied for 10th in the Trans-Mississippi Amateur. In 2016, he won the Trans-Mississippi Amateur and Pacific Coast Amateur titles.

George Zahringer
George Zahringer
George Zahringer, 64, of New York, N.Y., is the oldest player in the U.S. Amateur field. He won the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur and was a member of the 2003 USA Walker Cup Team. Zahringer is playing in his 19th U.S. Amateur and his first since 2007. He was also the runner-up in the 2001 U.S. Mid-Amateur and 2008 U.S. Senior Amateur. A 10-time Metropolitan Golf Association Player of the Year, Zahringer was inducted into the National Senior Amateur Hall of Fame in 2016.
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 13 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, starting the third week in April at www.usga.org.

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