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Chinn is Record-Tying Medalist at U.S. Junior Amateur
Kelly Chinn celebrates with his father, Colin, after backing up his first-round 64 with a 68 on Tuesday at CCNC. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Kelly Chinn celebrates with his father, Colin, after backing up his first-round 64 with a 68 on Tuesday at CCNC. (Chris Keane/USGA)

Kelly Chinn made more history on Tuesday en route to earning medalist honors in the 73rd U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at The Country Club of North Carolina.

Chinn, 18, of Great Falls, Va., who opened with a course-record, 8-under-par 64 on the Dogwood Course, shot a 3-under 68 on the 7,164-yard, par-71 Cardinal Course, the second stroke-play venue for the championship.

This is the first year the U.S. Junior Amateur has utilized two courses for stroke play to accommodate the expanded field of 264 competitors, up from the traditional 156.

In matching the championship 36-hole scoring record of 132, the incoming Duke University freshman also joined World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Tiger Woods, Willie Wood and Jim Liu as a multiple medalist. The other three own Junior Amateur titles – in Woods’ case three of them – something Chinn is hoping to accomplish by winning six matches over the next four days.

James Vargas (2001) and Austin Eckroat (2017), a member of the victorious 2021 USA Walker Cup Team, shared the stroke-play record of 132 in the Junior Amateur.

Three years ago, as the medalist at Baltusrol Golf Club, Chinn lost in the Round of 32. Two years ago at Inverness Club, he fell in the semifinals. The championship was not conducted in 2020 due to COVID-19.

In May, Chinn and David Ford were the medalists in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Chambers Bay before falling in the quarterfinals to eventual champions Kiko Francisco Coelho and Eduardo Herrera III.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Chinn of matching a feat by Woods. “Just putting your name next to anyone that special is incredible. I was able to do that for the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) Rolex Player of the Year [Award], but to do it in a USGA [championship] is awesome.

“I played some really great golf the past two days. My game feels great and I actually [executed] a lot of shots that I wanted to hit. I didn’t put too much stress on myself.”

Chinn’s lone blemishes on Tuesday were bogeys on the 439-yard, par-4 18th hole, his eighth of the round (he started on No. 11), and the 188-yard, par-3 seventh. The No. 41 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking®/WAGR® more than made up for the hiccups with birdies on Nos. 13, 15, 17, 2 and 3.

For the second consecutive day, a player shot 64 on the 7,140-yard, par-72 Dogwood Course. Andrew Goodman, 18, of Norman, Okla., who has signed to play at the University of Oklahoma where his father is an electrical engineering professor, registered six birdies and an eagle in matching Chinn’s competitive course record from Monday. It also equaled the third-lowest 18-hole round in U.S. Junior Amateur history. Goodman, who opened with an even-par 71 on the Cardinal Course, had a chance to shoot 63 but saw his 18-foot birdie try on the par-5 18th hole just slide past the hole.

Earlier this year, Goodman fired a 58 during a high school event on a 6,700-yard course. His 8-under 135 total earned him the No. 2 seed for match play.

“Today is as about as much fun as I can have playing golf,” said Goodman. “This is about as good as I have ever played.”

Ford, 18, of Peachtree Corners, Ga., who is headed to the University of North Carolina this fall, posted a 3-under 69 on Dogwood for a 36-hole total of 136 to garner the No. 3 seed. The left-hander will be joined in match play by his twin brother, Maxwell. Maxwell, a University of Georgia signee, shot a 6-under 66 on Dogwood for a two-day total of 138.

Three players finished at 6-under 137: Caleb Surratt, 17, of Indian Trail, N.C., last week’s winner of the PGA Junior Championship; Rylan Shim, 16, of Centreville, Va., and former Punt, Pass & Kick national finalist Nicholas Dunlap, 17, of Huntsville, Ala.

What’s Next

The cut for match play came at 4-over 147, leaving 13 players to battle for the last 10 spots in the bracket, starting at 7 a.m. EDT Wednesday. Play will begin on the first hole of the Cardinal Course, then go to 17, 18 and back to No. 1, if necessary. The first match in the Round of 64 is scheduled for 8 a.m., with all matches contested on the Dogwood Course. Match play continues Thursday and Friday, with the 36-hole championship match on Saturday.

Notable

On Tuesday, the USGA announced that the 74th U.S. Junior Amateur Championship will be conducted at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., July 25-30, 2022. Bandon Dunes and Bandon Trails will be the two courses utilized for stroke play, with matches on Bandon Dunes. The 2045 U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior also will be held at the resort.

Carson Brewer, 16, of Jacksonville, Fla., posted the lowest score on the Cardinal Course during stroke play, a 5-under-par 66, which is a competitive course record.

Gordon Sargent, who carded a 67 on Dogwood Tuesday, is staying with Country Club of North Carolina member and future Vanderbilt teammate Jackson Van Paris. Both players advanced to match play.

Notables to qualify for match play included Cohen Trolio, a 2019 U.S. Amateur semifinalist at nearby Pinehurst Resort, 2019 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cupper Conor Gough, of England, and Matvey Golovanov, the first male from Russia to play in a USGA championship. Daniel Choi, the son of eight-time PGA Tour winner K.J. Choi, is among the golfers in Wednesday’s playoff.

Among the notables to miss the match-play cut were John Daly II, son of the two-time major champion; Davis Wotnosky, 12, of Wake Forest, N.C., the second-youngest competitor in Junior Amateur history; 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion Kiko Francisco Coelho; Kevin Watts, son of 1998 British Open runner-up and 12-time Japan Golf Tour winner Brian Watts; and Jolo Timothy Magcalayo, of the Philippines, one of two players in the field competing in his third U.S. Junior.

The U.S. Junior Amateur always attracts plenty of college coaches looking for the next All-American. Two of the coaches on property Tuesday were past U.S. Junior Amateur champions: Tim Straub (1983) of Davidson and John Crooks (1967) of Campbell. Crooks defeated future two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North in the final.

As the players prepare for match play on Dogwood, it should be noted that the three hardest holes during stroke play were Nos. 14 (4.60), 15 (4.50) and 16 (3.45). The three easiest were the par-5 fifth (4.75), par-4 10th (3.96) and the par-5 18th (5.02).

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ABOUT THE U.S. Junior Amateur

While it is not the oldest competition, the U.S. Junior Amateur is considered the premier junior competition, having been around since 1948. The event is open to male golfers who have not reached their 19th birthday prior to the close of competition and whose USGA Handicap Index does not exceed 6.4. The U.S. Junior is one of 14 national championship conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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