Bryce Lewis (Courtesy of Tennessee Athletics)
A new era in amateur golf was ushered in on Wednesday with the start of the Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions and the stakes have never been higher.
The tradition-rich Sunnehanna Amateur is the first stop on the recently-created Elite Amateur Series, which aligns seven of the top competitive amateur events for PGA Tour-bound amateurs with coveted tour starts and U.S. Golf Association exemptions on the line.
After day one in Johnstown, Pa., Bryce Lewis
of the University of Tennessee and Cole Anderson
of Florida State are tied atop the leaderboard after both players carded impressive 6-under rounds of 64 on Wednesday. Three players - Nick Gabrelcik
(North Florida), Brian Stark
(Oklahoma State) and Julian Perico
(Arkansas) are one back at 5-under.
Lewis was 1-under at the turn and then caught fire, collecting four consecutive birdies to start his inward nine to move to 5-under on the day. After pars on 14 and 15, Lewis birdied the par-3 16th hole en route to shooting an opening-round 64.
After a birdie-bogey start, Anderson played his final 16 holes at 6-under to match Lewis on the scoreboard with a 64 of his own.
A total of 27 players managed to break par on the forgiving Sunnehanna layout.
The top five finishers in the 2022 Elite Amateur Cup final points classification will receive an exemption for the 2022 US Amateur and an exemption for the 2023 U.S. Open Final Qualifying (must remain amateurs). They will also earn exemptions into the PGA TOUR's Butterfield Bermuda Championship (Oct. 28-31) and select Korn Ferry Tour events.
• • • • •
Future Elite Amateur Series Events
• Northeast Amateur (June 22-25; Wannamoisett Country Club, Rumford, RI)
• North and South Amateur (June 26-July 2; Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Pinehurst, NC)
• Trans-Mississippi Amateur (July 6-9; Denver Country Club, Denver, Colo.)
• Southern Amateur (July 13-16; Sea Island Golf Club, St. Simons Island, Ga.)
• Pacific Coast Amateur (July 19-22; Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland, Ore.)
• Western Amateur (Aug. 1-6; Exmoor Country Club, Highland Park, Ill.).
ABOUT THE Sunnehanna Amateur
The Sunnehanna Amateur was inaugurated in
1954 -- it was the first country club
sponsored 72-hole stroke play competition for
in the United States. The
tournament is played on a classic A.W.
design. Only one other amateur
tournament in the United States can list the
Chick Evans, Arnold Palmer, Julius
Boros, Art Wall, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson,
Woods, and Rickie Fowler as
contestants: the United States Amateur. Its
format has been emulated by
countless amateur tournaments across the
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