U.S. Open: Meet the amateurs who will tee it up at Torrey Pines
13 Jun 2021
by Jim Young of

see also: U.S. Open Golf Championship, Pinehurst Resort and Country Club - No. 2

Nine amateurs will be in the field of the 121st U.S. Open Championship at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif. Seven of the nine earned their way to Torrey through qualifying stages, while Ollie Osborne earned a spot in the field after finishing runner-up in last year's U.S. Amateur and Joe Long of England earned special exemption by virtue of winning the British Amateur Championship last August at Royal Birkdale.

This year's amateur contingent is smaller than in recent years; there have been at least 10 amateurs in 13 of the past 14 Opens. Thirteen ams played in last year's U.S. Open at Winged Foot, where John Pak of Florida State took low am honors, tying for 51st place at 18-over par.

The first amateur to win the U.S. Open was Francis Ouiment in 1913, when he took down Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a historic 18-hole playoff at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Jerome Travers and Chick Evans gave amateurs back-to-back titles in 1915 and ’16 while the great Bobby Jones claimed four U.S. Open titles in his illustrious career (1923, '26, '29, '30).

Johnny Goodman, an insurance salesman from Omaha, Neb., was the last amateur to win the championship in 1933 at North Shore Country Club outside of Chicago, defeating Ralph Guldahl by a single stroke.

High schooler Beau Hossler, then 17, was on the front page of the leaderboard for three days at the Olympic Club in 2012 before falling off the pace on Sunday. The low amateur at Olympic was Jordan Spieth, who shot 69-70 on the weekend to tie for 21st place at 7-over with five others, including Tiger Woods and Justin Rose.

The last amateur to finish in the top-10 of a U.S. Open was Jim Simons of Wake Forest in 1971 at Merion. Simons held the 54-hole lead before eventually finishing in a tie for fifth with Johnny Miller.

Here's a look at the amateurs who will be competing at Torrey Pines this week:

Pierceson Coody (Plano, Texas)
University of Texas standout survived a 5-for-4 playoff at the Columbus qualifier where he tied for 13th with a 6-under score of 138...Big 12 Player of the Year had five, top-three finishes in the collegiate season, highlighted by a win at the George Hannan Collegiate...represented the United States at this year's Walker Cup matches...won the 2020 Western Amateur, considered by many to be the second most prestigious title in amateur golf...grandson of 1971 Masters champion Charles Coody...currently listed as No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and the Golfweek/ World Amateur Ranking.

Cole Hammer (Houston, Tex.)
First alternate at the Columbus qualifier got into the championship when Mikko Korhonen, who was one of 10 players exempt through the three-event U.S. Open 2021 European Tour Qualifying Series, had to withdraw...two-time Walker Cup team member opened the 36-hole qualifier at Brookside Golf & Country Club with a 73...moved back into contention by firing a 65 at The Lakes Golf & Country Club in the afternoon...was part of a 5-for-4 playoff the next morning but lost out to Texas teammate Pierceson Coody, Peter Malnati, Tom Hoge and Jhonattan Vegas and was relegated to first alternate status...rising senior at the University of Texas who won the Big 12 Conference individual championship in May...listed 17th in WAGR and 9th in Golfweek/

Joe Highsmith (Lakewood, Wash.)
Posted two rounds of 69 to win the Meadow Springs Country Club qualifier in his hometown of Lakewood, Wash...helped lead Pepperdine to this year's NCAA Men's Division I Championship where he went 3-0 in match play...lone win during the collegiate season came at the Western Intercollegiate held at Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz...quarterfinalist in the 2020 North & South 2017, became the youngest winner of the Washington State Amateur...was named the 2019 West Coast Conference's Freshman of the Year...bucket hat-wearing lefty called "My favorite college player" by Fred Couples...listed No. 54 in WAGR and 17th in Golfweek/

Andrew Kozan (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Auburn senior will be making his U.S. Open debut...advanced to Torrey Pines through The Bear's Club final qualifier where he posted a 4-under 140 to finish three strokes behind Patrick Rodgers...advanced to the Round of 32 in last year's U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes before losing to eventual semifinalist Matthew Sharpstene...qualified for match play in the 2015 and '16 U.S. Juniors...posted three top-10 finishes this season at Auburn...listed No. 101 in WAGR and 118 in Golfweek/

Joe Long (England)
Earned his way to Torrey Pines by virtue of winning the Amateur Championship last summer at Royal Birkdale, defeating countryman Joe Harvey in the 36-hole final...victory also earned him a trip to the 2021 Masters (MC) and a place on the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team...also finished third at the 2019 European Amateur...member of Lansdown Golf Club near Bath...didn't take up golf until age 11.

Charles "Ollie" Osborne (Dallas, Tex.)
Earned a spot in the U.S. Open field by virtue of his championship match appearance in the 2020 U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, where he lost to Tyler Strafaci, 1 down in the 36-hole final...played in the 2019 U.S. Amateur but failed to advance to match play...also competed in the 2021 Masters (MC)...Monday qualified for the 2019 Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nev...two-time winner at Southern Methodist University...grew up in Reno, Nev. Where he was a talented skier...took up golf on advisement of his parents...his grandmother nicknamed him Ollie Bird, with the first part of the name sticking...prefers to be referred to as Ollie to this day.

Spencer Ralston (Gainsville, Ga.)
Was the final qualifier at the Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta, Ga....shot 9-under 135 to earn a trip to Torrey Pines...fifth-year senior at Georgia was runner up in the 2021 SEC Championships...finished sixth at the 2021 Jones Cup Invitational at Ocean Forest Golf Club...played in 50 of a possible 51 tournaments at Georgia...shot 3-under 139 in his PGA Tour debut as an amateur at the 2020 RBC Heritage.

Mattias Schmid (Maxhuette, Germany)
University of Louisville senior claimed medalist honors at the Dallas Athletic Club qualifier on May 24, shooting 9-under 133...helped the Cardinals qualify for the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale...posted a 69.91 scoring average in a shortened season...won the 2020 European Amateur...rated No. 24 in the WAGR and 6th in Golfwee/

Matt Sharpstene (Asheville, NC)
Shared medalist honors with Mattias Schmid at the Dallas Athletic Club final qualifier on May 24…advanced to the semifinals of last year's U.S. Amateur where he lost to Charles Osborne, 4 and 2…established a course record on Course No. 4 at Pinehurst during the stroke play portion of the 2020 North & South Amateur...spent three seasons at West Virginia before transferring to Charlotte University for the 2020-21 season.

USGA contributed to this report


The U.S. Open is the biggest of the 14 national championships conducted by the USGA. Open to amateurs and professionals.

The USGA intends to make the U.S. Open the most rigorous, yet fair, examination of golf skills, testing all forms of shot-making. The USGA prepares the course after careful consideration of 14 different factors.

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