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These players were hit hardest by lost U.S. Amateur opportunity
- Tony Dear/PNGA photo
- Tony Dear/PNGA photo

Nearly two dozen caddies at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort had their games in shape to attempt to qualify for this summer’s U.S. Amateur Championship, which will be held in their own back yard. Goodbye to all that.

by Tony Dear

Every December, the top six caddies at Bandon Dunes take on their counterparts from Pine Valley, Cypress Point, and Pebble Beach in a three-day Ryder Cup-style event at Bandon Dunes known as the Looper Cup.

To be a member of the home team, players must advance from an 18-hole qualifier held on one of the resort’s five regulation courses. In 2017, the qualifying round was contested on Old Macdonald and Jason Humphrey guaranteed his spot on Team Bandon Dunes quite handily. He shot 64.

Seven-under-par on any course is pretty stout, but on Old Macdonald? The Tom Doak/Jim Urbina-designed, CB Macdonald-inspired course is widely acknowledged as the perfect layout for a match-play duel, but a tough place on which to keep a medal score going.

Shooting 64 there takes some different-level ball-striking – touch, finesse, scrambling, putting, patience, and course management – and it was these skills Humphrey had hoped would take him far in this year’s U.S. Amateur, which will be played at Bandon Dunes on August 10-16.

But with the USGA’s announcement that all qualifying for the Amateur would be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that only exempt players would play in the championship, the dreams of Humphrey, and of 20 or so other of the resort’s caddies, went poof.

>> Read the rest of Tony Dear's excellent article here

ABOUT THE U.S. Amateur

The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA championship, was first played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. It is the pre-eminent amateur competition in the world. Applications are typically placed online in the spring at www.usga.org.

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