The biggest week in amateur golf features four historic championships
School is out, and the amateur summer season is upon us.
Over the next three months, many of the best college players, juniors, and mid-amateurs from the U.S. and around the world will meet and compete at a variety of championship venues across the U.S.
And the action heats up immediately with the 52nd playing of the Dogwood Invitational at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta. The Dogwood has an earlier date on the calendar
than in previous years, and its new lead off spot has helped draw a stellar field.
But the biggest week on the amateur golf calendar is the following week. U.S. Open week will be big for amateur golf, with 23 amateurs currently in the field at Shinnecock Hills, including 19 who got in through sectional qualifying
In addition, four major amateur tournaments will be played in all corners of the U.S., each with a rich history and talented fields that demonstrate the depth and health of competitive amateur golf.
AmateurGolf.com takes a closer look at four major amateur tournaments that help make up the biggest week in amateur golf.
The Southwestern Amateur
is the longest running regional amateur men's golf championship in the western United States. With origins dating back as early as 1908, the tournament was formally organized into a regional competition in 1915.
The tournament will be celebrating its 103rd playing June 13-16, 2018. As it has since 2013, it will be held at the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the championship rotates among its six Jack Nicklaus designed championship golf courses.
Since its founding over 100 years ago, the Southwestern Amateur has developed a stellar reputation as a high-quality competition for the nation’s top players. Past winners of the Southwestern Amateur include past and present PGA Tour stars Craig Stadler, Jay Haas, Mark O’Meara, Corey Pavin, Tom Pernice, Jr., Jim Carter, Ted Purdy, Ryan Palmer and Nick Watney.
Newcomers on the PGA Tour cut their teeth with wins or high finishes at the Southwestern Amateur, including Bryson DeChambeau, Kevin Dougherty, J.T. Poston and Aaron Wise.
The Monroe Invitational
The Monroe Invitational Championship
is one of the oldest amateur tournaments in the United States dating back to 1937. Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, NY has hosted the event for 78 years and will once again host the event from June 13-16.
Past champions include Tour players like Dustin Johnson, Thomas Pieters, Chris DiMarco, Jeff Sluman, Kyle Reifers and D.J. Trahan, as well as current Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley.
The Monroe always draws a deep and diverse field of players from across the United States, and this year there will be contingent from Australia and Canada as well.
The Southeastern Amateur
is a top-level amateur golf tournament with a rich history dating back to 1922 - when the tournament was created by Fred Haskins. Each year, the Southeastern Amateur has the great honor of hosting many of the nation's top amateur golfers, from Division I NCAA National Champions to the nation's top mid-amateurs.
Past champions include Doug Sanders, Tommy Aaron, Danny Edwards, Curtis Strange, and 5 time champion Allen Doyle. Runners-up include Masters champions Ben Crenshaw and Fuzzy Zoeller.
The 89th Southeastern Amateur will again be played at the Country Club of Columbus in Columbus, Georgia, June 13-16. The course has been restored to the original Donald Ross design plans, including the famous postage stamp green on #4, and of course the ever present "shaved" collection areas that are the signature of Donald Ross designs.
Even with the defending champion having to withdraw (Braden Thornberry has a good reason - he'll be at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills), the 65th Sunnehanna Amateur
may have the strongest field in the history of the championship.
The 2016 champion and World #3 ranked Collin Morikawa returns, as do U.S. Palmer Cup Team members Stephen Franken, Zach Bauchou, Brad Dalke, Justin Suh and Sahith Theegala; and International Palmer Cup Team members Andy Zhang and K.K. Limbhasut. 16 countries will be represented at Sunnehanna Country Club, June 13-16.
Last year Morikawa nearly made it a repeat, falling in a playoff to Thornberry. Bauchou was a member of the NCAA Champion Oklahoma State University Cowboys, and shot a 10-under 60 during last year's Sunnehanna.
Five-time USGA champion Nathan Smith, who won the Sunnehanna in 2011 and joined the Tournament Committee for this year's tournament, will also be in the field.
The Sunnehanna Amateur was inaugurated in July of 1954 -- it was the first country club sponsored 72-hole stroke play competition for amateurs in the United States. The tournament is played on a classic A.W. Tillinghast design. Only one other amateur tournament in the United States can list the likes of Chick Evans, Arnold Palmer, Julius Boros, Art Wall, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Rickie Fowler as contestants: the United States Amateur. For Nicklaus, it was his first-ever major amateur event, as he finished 5th as a 15-year-old in 1956.