John Anderson putts on Winged Foot opening day, 1923
(courtesy Winged Foot Golf Club)
by Joseph Nieporte, AmateurGolf.com
“Johnny Anderson was a friend of all golfing souls. He breathed the spirit of the game, and year after year added to its glory by his mere presence and background. Golf was his life.”
-- New York Evening Post
On Thursday, August 19, Winged Foot welcomes back some of the country's top amateur and senior amateur players to compete in its 84th edition of the Anderson Memorial. After U.S. Open scheduling challenges and Covid restrictions derailed the championship in 2020, the premier four-ball event will finally take place for its first time in the month of August. The challenge and lure of Winged Foot have yet again attracted a string contingent of players from all around the country.
A Local Presence
Of the field of 82 competitors, 26 players will be representing clubs from the Metropolitan Section, including former MGA Players of the year, Joe Saladino
and 2013 Anderson winner Max Buckley
. The Winged Foot membership will be well represented, with ten different teams earning an invitation into this year's championship. Current Club champion George Boudria
has partnered up with two time Club Champion Brian Williams
, both in pursuit of their first Anderson win. Parker Smith
and Dan Crockett
will be competing to win their third Anderson together. The 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion, MGA Player of the year and three-time USA Walker Cup team member Stewart Hagestad
will be playing with Mike McBride
to represent Deepdale Golf Club.
Strong Competition from Around the U.S.
With the current state of the pandemic, the field will consist of teams solely from the United States. In past championships, teams from the United Kingdom, Scotland, and even Peru have competed in the now global event. But international travel hasn't returned to normalcy yet. Representing one of the eight teams from the state of Texas, former SMU Mustangs Benjamin Baxter
and Andrew Buchanan
are returning to Winged Foot, hoping to find success as they did when they won the 2016 USGA Four-Ball here in 2016. From Arizona, former U.S. Amateur runner-up Drew Kittleson
will be teaming up with Bryan Hoops
. An already proven team of Kenny Ebalo
and Shane Sigsbee
from Las Vegas looks to repeat history in search of their 2nd Anderson Championship together. From Florida representing Trump International, Andrew Giuliani
is teamed up Brett Falkoff
. Falkoff is Bryson Dechambeau
's agent, who may arrive at Winged foot with some inside knowledge thanks to his connection with the 2020 U.S. Open champion.
With the 1:45 tee time on day one of the invitational, gunslinger and recent Hall of fame inductee Peyton Manning
will be teeing it up with Fox News anchor Brett Baier
. Manning, who spent 18 seasons in the NFL -- winning two super bowls along the way -- will have a chance to test his game on two of golf's most challenging tracks. The quarterback is no rookie to playing in front of some of golf's biggest names. Last year, he and Tiger Woods defeated Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in the "Champions for Charity" match, raising over 20 million dollars. Joining the celebrity foursome is Nathaniel Crosby
. Crosby is the winner of the 1981 U.S. Amateur and the 1982 Porter Cup. Crosby -- who has captained the last two winning USA Walker Cup teams -- he will be joined by his son Nathaniel Jr in this weeks event.
Players will begin the week in a stroke play format starting on the East Course and moving to the West course for day 2. After two days of play the top 16 teams will be seeded into a match play bracket. The weekend will be played entirely on the West Course with two matches being played each day. That's six total rounds of golf over a four-day period for the champions.
History of the Anderson
Named after one of the Winged Foot's founders, John G. Anderson was one of the top amateur players of his era. Winner of 53 tournaments worldwide, he was known as having one of the sharpest minds in golf. His ability to outwit and outsmart so much of his competition inspired many golfers in the early 1900's and is partially responsible for the massive golf boom in the Metropolitan section. Off the golf course, Anderson was one of the golf's prominent writers and is credited with bringing to life the story of Francis Ouimet's historic victory at the 1913 U.S. Open. Anderson would never win the U.S. Amateur but would twice be the runner up, in 1913 and 1915. At the young age of 48, Anderson passed away from kidney disease. The Anderson Memorial was established only two months after he passed and forever carries on his legacy.
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ABOUT THE Anderson Memorial
Perhaps the most coveted best-ball
invitation in all of amateur golf. Created in 1933 to
honor Winged Foot founding member and two time
Amateur runner-up John G. Anderson, the event
consists of a 36 hole qualifier followed by two days
match play competition in both Championship and
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