UPDATE: Return of the state am?
02 Aug 2020
by Staff

- Texas Golf Association video screen shot
- Texas Golf Association video screen shot

The coronavirus pandemic has rearranged the 2020 competitive golf schedule. Professional majors have been rescheduled or cancelled, the college season was cut short, and the Majors of Amateur Golf calendar thinned out.

Related: List of amateur tournaments affected by the coronavirus outbreak

In our original article, we took a look at how state amateur championships, once considered among the most important tournaments to win, have struggled to draw top amateurs to their fields, as such players increasingly favor traveling out of state to play against each other. Some of the numbers were striking.

As the year progresses, we are keeping an eye on state amateur championships around the country, looking to see if they might be the unexpected beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic, if players indeed travel less and stay closer to home.

August 2 update

This was the biggest week of the summer for state amateurs, with 10 states -- Iowa, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Arizona and California -- conducting their state championships (New York was also scheduled but cancelled due to COVID-19).

But running opposite the Western Amateur meant that top-ranked players across the board skipped their state championships, even in the case of a defending champion like William Mouw, who skipped a title defense in California to compete in the Western (in fairness to California, they were originally scheduled to host the state am earlier in the summer but had to postpone due to COVID-19).

July 19 update

This week there were a few players that chose the Southern Amateur over their state am, but overall the states continued to see improved fields in 2020.

In Ohio, six of the top eight ranked players were in the field as Austin Greaser moved to No. 1 with an eight-shot win at Columbus Country Club.

In Massachusetts, seven of the top ten players competed for the state amateur title.

July 12 update

In Georgia, only two of the state's top ten players were in the field, with the highest-ranked player, Luke Schniederjans, taking the title. Many of the other highly-ranked players chose to pay in the North & South and/or the Southern Amateur.

Many of the smaller states continue to draw their best players as in normal years. In Maine, No. 1 ranked Cole Anderson successfully defended his title, while Garren Poirier (Vermont) and James Pleat (New Hampshire) rose to No. 1 with their wins.

June 28 update

Six state amateurs teed off this past week, and all six had great fields. In Mississippi, where a PGA Tour start was on the line, eight of the top ten players in the state were in the field. Oregon, Arkansas and Missouri all had seven top-10 players playing, while Missouri had six. And four of the top five players from the state of Wyoming competed in their state championship.

June 21 update

The North Carolina Amateur only drew one player in the state's top 10 (#4 Jonathan Brightwell who lost in a playoff to Peter Fountain), and 6 in the top 20. Many of the state's top-raked players, including #1 Ryan Gerard of Raleigh, will be in the field at next week's North & South Amateur in Pinehurst.

June 14 update

The Louisiana State Amateur was the first men's state am to tee off post-lockdown, with John Humphries winning his second-straight title. An impressive five of the top seven ranked players in the state of Louisiana were in the field, including the eventual champion, but the top two -- LSU Tiger teammates Philip Barbaree and Trey Winstead -- skipped the event.

In Indiana, two USGA champions battled for the women's state championship, with Erica Shepherd pulling away from Julia Potter-Bobb to win her first Indiana state title.

Also, Paul Pope of the Ohio Golf Association reports that they have received a record number of qualifier and exempt player entries into the Ohio Amateur, which will be held in mid-July.

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