Ethan Ng (Courtesy of Stanford Athletics)
The Porter Cup Invitational is back. After a one-year hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 62nd edition of the tournament will commence on Wednesday at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, N.Y. The 72-hole medal-play event is scheduled to conclude on Saturday.
Assistant Tournament Director Marty Shimmel says although most restrictions have been eased, the pandemic continues to impact the event.
“Our members have always housed the players,” he said. “We decided not to do that this year, only because we didn’t feel comfortable asking members to house players that are from elsewhere in the country, we didn’t know if they were vaccinated, that type of thing so we are not housing players this year.”
Shimmel says pandemic-related issues are impacting the makeup of the field.
“It’s not going to be one of the power fields (the tournament has had in the past),” he said. “I’m not going to say that. But I think, all things considered, we’re still going to have a pretty decent field. We’ve had some challenges this year; number one housing. Number two, the Canadian border is still closed so that has affected the Canadian players we could get.
“And another thing that worked to our disadvantage is that the Walker Cup, because of Covid, was played early and in the past, this was one of the last events for Walker Cup points and we used to get some of those top-flight amateurs that needed to perform well to make the Walker Cup team.”
While the field may not be as deep as usual there will still be an abundance of quality players in hand. 2019 winner Aiden Didone will not be defending, but the entry list includes Jimmy Zheng (Auckland, New Zealand) who tied for sixth at the Palmetto Amateur and tied for eighth at the Dogwood Invitational.
He’ll be joined by Ethan Ng (New York) who tied for third at the Monroe Invitational and Garrett Rank (Waterloo, Ontario) who tied for second at the Dogwood. Herman Sekne (Oslo, Norway) tied for seventh at the Trans-Mississippi will also be on hand along with Davis Lamb (Potomac, Md.) reached the Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur last year.
The golf course the players will face plays to a maximum of 6.871 yards and a par of 70. Originally designed by A.W. Tillinghast, it dates back to 1919. It has been renovated several times in the years since, most recently in the last half dozen years with significant input from golf course superintendent David Meteer.
The Porter Cup was first played 1959. The roster of past champions includes three-time winner Jay Sigel (1975, ’81, ’87) and two-time champion Scott Verplank (1983, ’85) along with Nathaniel Crosby Phil Mickelson, David Duval and Gene Elliott along others.
ABOUT THE Porter Cup
One of the premier amateur events in the
nation, this 72-hole stroke play invitational has
lots of extra activities that give this event a special
flavor. The winning player receives a green blazer, as
well as an invitation to the Master of the Amateurs
tournament in Melbourne, Australia. Pre-tournament
qualifying is a few weeks prior to the
event and approximately five spots are available.
Starting in 2023, the men's and women's
Porter Cup championships will run con currently with
54 players in each field and alternating
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