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Top amateur golf moments of 2019, Nos. 11-15
15 Dec 2019
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

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- Alvaro Ortiz got a dousing after winning the Latin America Amateur (LAAC photo)
- Alvaro Ortiz got a dousing after winning the Latin America Amateur (LAAC photo)

As 2019 draws to a close, AmateurGolf.com takes a look back at the 25 most interesting stories of what was another banner year for amateur golf.

Last week, we took a look at stories No. 16-20, which included a hall of famer keeping the fire burning, a shock DQ, a new crop of future pro stars, a rare 3-peat, and deferring one dream to realize another.

The series continues with the top amateur golf moments of 2019, Nos. 11-15:

No. 15: Alvaro Ortiz finally gets his Latin America win, Masters start
Two years after he lost his chance to play in Masters because of a playoff loss he blamed on his emotions, and a year after finishing second to narrowly miss out again, former University of Arkansas star Alvario Ortiz of Mexico gave it one more shot in what he thought would be his last tournament as an amateur.

No. 14: Not one, but two fourpeats
Winning the same tournament four times in a row takes consistency, luck, and a lot of talent. For Scott Harvey, it also takes a love of the host venue. His win in the George C. Thomas Invitational was his 4th straight at Los Angeles CC. Alex Schaake was even more notable, winning his state (Nebraska) amateur for the 4th year in a row on four different golf courses.

No. 13: Akshay Bhatia's rise from junior star to Walker Cup champ to professional
Akshay Bhatia was on the amateur radar for a brief but memorable time in 2019. The No. 1 ranked junior won the Dustin Johnson Junior, won his first major amateur event at the Jones Cup, played a PGA Tour event and Web.com event as an amateur, was named to the Walker Cup, helped the USA win the Walker Cup, and then turned pro as a teenager. They do grow up fast these days.

No. 12: Lucy Li retains am status as USGA issues 'one-time warning'
The young phenom appeared in an Apple Watch commercial, potentially violating the USGA's rules and jeopardizing her amateur status. After much consternation and controversy, the ruling by the governing body -- which had all the anticipation of a supreme court ruling -- did nothing to quiet the doubters and only raised more questions.

No. 11: Michel makes history as first international winner of U.S. Mid-Am
Lukas Michel was among the youngest players in the field at the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club. A change in an exemption category allowed him to play in his first USGA event, and along the way to becoming the first international winner, the Aussie took down two of America's top mid-ams, trailing for most of the final before flipping it at the end.

The Top Amateur Moments series continues with another five stories each week until the end of the year. Stay tuned!

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