Top 10 in Amateur Golf: August 2017
August was as big of a month as it gets for amateur golf. The summer amateur golf season reaches its apex with the Western Amateur and three USGA championships capped off by the biggest of them all, the U.S. Amateur.
Here's a look back at the 10 most interesting happenings in the amateur golf world for August 2017:
#10 Todd Fanning Wins Canadian Mid-Amateur in Dramatic Playoff
49-year-old Todd Fanning won his first national title in three decades, coming from five shots back in the final round, and winning a four-hole three-man playoff. Fanning birdied the final hole to get into the playoff with 54-hole leader Steven Diack and three-time defending champion and World #5 Mid-Amateur Garrett Rank, who came from eight shots down to get into the playoff. “The last hour and a half I sunk every putt I looked at and that’s how you have to win,” said Fanning afterward.
#9 US Women's Am: Playoff Finally Completed, Round of 64 Set
After 36 holes of stroke play, and 11-for-8 playoff was held to determine the final match play qualifiers at San Diego Country Club. As the playoff went on, darkness started to set in. The USGA did everything it could to finish the playoff and set the bracket before the start of match play the next morning, with car headlights and even mobile phone flashlights helping to illuminate the course. But darkness won out, and five players returned the next morning to play for the final four spots.
#8 Glenn Workman is now champion of two different states
Glenn Workman is a senior at Wyoming University, but a resident of Colorado. So he is eligible to play in both state championships. In June he won the Wyoming State Amateur by one shot with a 10-under total, and in August he added the Colorado Amateur at the Sonnenalp Club. Workman birdied two of the last three holes to pull away from the field and win by two shots,
becoming the first player to win the two state championships in the same year.
#7 Medalist Norman Xiong Goes on to win Western Amateur
In perhaps the most grueling format in golf, Norman Xiong shot 14 under par over 72 holes (going 66-65 on the 36-hole day) to earn medalist honors at the Western Amateur at Skokie Country Club. He then won two matches to reach the final, and then prevailed in 22 holes over Doc Redman, who would go on to win the U.S. Amateur two weeks later. He became the first medalist to win the tournament in five years, and his win secured a place on the U.S. Walker Cup team.
#6 Hughes Breaks American Grip on the British Senior Amateur
Americans had enjoyed a long run of success at the British Senior Amateur, winning the last seven championships and 17 of the last 21. And that didn't look to change at Sunningdale, with a solidly red, white and blue leaderboard going in to the final round. But Bryan Hughes shot a final-round 67 to come from seven shots back and become the first Englishman to win the championship in fourteen years, winning by two shots over #1 ranked senior Doug Hanzel.
#5 What a Match! Wu, Stephenson make U.S. Women's Am history
In the final U.S. Women's Amateur quarterfinal of the day, Chia Yen Wu and Lauren Stephenson played the longest 18-hole match in USGA history. Wu looked to be out on the 26th hole, when Stephenson stuffed her approach shot, but the 13-year-old rolled in a 30-footer to keep the match going. On the 30th hole, Wu made a 20-footer for par to end the match.
#4 Sophia Schubert is the 117th U.S. Women's Amateur Champion
With her University of Texas coach caddying for her, Schubert won six matches to win the U.S. Women's Amateur at San Diego Country Club, becoming the first Longhorn to win in over two decades. Schubert defeated Chia Yen Wu (winner of the longest match in USGA history) in the semifinals, and then thoroughly dominated Albane Valenzuela of Switzerland and Stanford University 6&5 in the 36-hole final.
#3 Fishburn Blows Away Professional Field at Utah Open
BYU senior Patrick Fishburn led this tournament last year but fell back in the final round. Not this year. Fishburn made 11 birdies in an opening-round 63, followed it with a 64, and closed with another 63 to reach 26 under par and destroy a professional field by nine shots. With the win, Fishburn completed a double, joining a short list of players who have won both the Utah Amateur and Utah Open.
#2 Sean Knapp Grinds Out a Win at the U.S. Senior Amateur
Playing in his first U.S. Senior Amateur, Sean Knapp admitted to being in "panic mode" battling high expectations and struggling in the first round of stroke play qualifying. But he became more comfortable in each round, and stuck to a match play formula that culminated in a 2&1 win over two-time champion Paul Simson in the final, the third former champion he beat on his way to the championship. It was his first USGA title in over 40 attempts.
#1 Doc Redman Wins U.S. Amateur with an Incredible Comeback
With his laid back demeanor, Doc Redman was flying under the radar throughout the U.S. Amateur Championship, even though he had narrowly lost the Western Amateur final coming into the tournament. He needed to survive a playoff just to get to match play. Two down with two to go in the championship final, Redman went eagle-birdie-birdie to steal the championship from Doug Ghim in a brilliantly played match.