The 9 best pairings in the first round of the Northeast Amateur
18 Jun 2019
by Julie Williams of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Northeast Amateur Invitational, Wannamoisett Country Club

Chandler Eaton (AGC photo)
Chandler Eaton (AGC photo)

When looking at a tee sheet, twosomes scream one thing: Sunday on the PGA Tour. The fact that the Northeast Amateur opens tomorrow with twosomes is something unique about the event. Whoever did the pairings clearly put some thought into them – and in some cases, we kind of wish these were head-to-head match-ups instead of side-by-side stroke play.

In preparation for the start of the 72-hole event at Wannamoissett Golf Club in Rumford, R.I., on Wednesday, we highlight our favorite twosomes from the first round. (All times eastern, * signals a 10th-tee start):

8:45 a.m.: Kevin O’Connell, Garrett Rank

An all mid-am pairing here pitting the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champ, O’Connell, against Rank, the 2012 U.S. Mid-Am runner-up who famously referees NHL hockey in the off-season. O’Connell is coming off an MC at the U.S. Open, and Rank is coming off a T-14 at the Monroe.

8:36 a.m.: Noah Goodwin, Brad Dalke*

Stout USGA resumes in this group. Goodwin won the 2017 U.S. Junior (a year after finishing runner-up in the event) and Dalke was runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Amateur. It’s been a tough road for Dalke over the past year, but the recent Oklahoma graduate is making one last run at the summer amateur circuit. With a win at the U.S. Amateur, he could even make the Walker Cup team. His whole summer should be a work-up toward that.

8:45 a.m.: John Augenstein, Peter Kuest*

We call this the “gritty college player group.” Both men are coming off a turn on the U.S. Palmer Cup team. If Augenstein is a bulldog on the golf course, then Kuest is a wizard. The latter won five times this past season at BYU.

9:39 a.m.: Matt Parziale, Tony Romo*

A fireman and an NFL quarterback playing one of the nation’s great amateur events – it doesn’t get any more American than that. Romo has drawn some strong pairings in his national-amateur run. He played the first round of the Dogwood Invitational beside Rank two weeks ago.

12:00 p.m.: Canon Claycomb, George Duangmanee

The next generation of golf looks strong, especially from where Claycomb and Duangmanee are sitting. Both are entering their senior year of high school, and Claycomb is already committed to Alabama while Duangmanee will play for Virginia. This week will be a great learning experience for both players.

12:27 p.m.: Brandon Mancheno, Noah Norton

Here we have two of the summer’s breakout stars. Mancheno won the Dogwood Invitational to start the month, and Norton qualified for the U.S. Open.

1:03 p.m.: John Pak, Cole Hammer

Remember when we said we wished some of these pairings were going to be played as match play? Well, we were specifically talking about this one. Pak is on a tear right now, having finished top-5 at the Sunnehanna last week after winning three spring college titles for Florida State. Hammer, who knocked off Matthew Wolff in NCAA match play last month, is one of the strongest amateurs in the world right now in any format.

1:12 p.m.: Sahith Theegala, Chandler Eaton

There’s momentum in this pairing as Theegala continues to chart his way back from a wrist surgery that sidelined him for much of the past year. His comeback began last week with a T-12 finish at the Sunnehanna. Eaton is coming off a made cut and T-58 finish at the U.S. Open. Both have one season of college golf remaining at Pepperdine and Duke, respectively.

1:03 p.m.: Andy Ogletree, Pierceson Coody*

The Monroe Invitational was good to both of these men. Coody made headlines with a second-round 65 and Ogletree played four steady rounds for a two-shot win. We’ll be keeping an eye on their follow-up performances roughly 400 miles to the east in Rhode Island.

ABOUT THE Northeast Amateur

The Northeast Amateur has a historic list of winners, including Ben Crenshaw, Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Luke Donald, Scott Hoch, John Cook, Hal Sutton, and David Duval. It has been annually held at the Donald Ross-designed Wannamoisett Country Club since 1962. The event is limited to 90 elite players; there is a cut after 54 holes and the entire tournament is played in twosomes.

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