- Exmoor Country Club photo
An amazing summer of amateur golf continues the first week of August with the 120th playing of The Western Amateur. It is only fitting that the historic championship – known for being the toughest test in amateur golf — should serve as the “final exam” in the inaugural Elite Amateur Series.
of Wellesley, Mass. will defend his title at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois on August 2-6. The championship was first played at Glen View Golf & Polo Club in 1899. Over the years, The Western has provided a proving ground for the game’s top players and traced the changes in amateur and professional golf long before there was a split between the PGA of America and the PGA Tour (and, more recently, a battle among rival tours).
DEFENDING CHAMP INTERVIEW
COMMUNITY RALLIES AFTER JULY 4 TRAGEDY
The fact that host Exmoor Country Club is located in Highland Park Illinois, will give pause to many attending in person or watching online as they recall the tragic shooting that occurred there on July 4, 2022. Seven people were killed, and 48 others were wounded by bullets during the town’s Independence Day parade, leaving the region and country in grief.
The tragedy hit close to home -- one of the caddy's grandfather was lost that day. With members of the club raising funds for the family and trying to make sense of the tragic loss of life that occurred that day, plans for the Western Am went on. John Borneman of the Western Golf Association was in charge of a media event for the Western Amateur, held at Exmoor less than two weeks after the shooting.
“Exmoor is a very community and family-oriented club,” said the Western Golf Association and Evans Scholars Foundation Communications Manager. “We had a media event there ten days after the tragedy, and you could just feel how much they were hurting.”
Players will be provided with ribbons to wear during the championship.
For those unable to attend in person, the match play portion will be live streamed on Golf Channel’s digital platforms – for the third-straight year – on Friday, August 5, and Saturday, August 6. (See broadcast times below).
“We’re thrilled to again offer live coverage of our flagship amateur championship and the unmatched field of elite players who compete for this coveted title,” said John Kaczkowski, WGA President and CEO. “Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and many others have competed in the Western Amateur. This broadcast-quality stream will enable fans everywhere to watch the game’s future stars face off in golf’s toughest test.”
7-SPOT QUALIFIER ENDS IN PLAYOFF
We caught the tail end of the open qualifier on Sunday afternoon. Players travel from around the U.S. for a chance to make it into the prestigious tournament. A 5-for-3 playoff ended when Grant Haefner, Dawson Ovard, and Tyler Isenhart birdied the first playoff hole. Check out a story story and results here
and video of the playoff action below:
FINALE OF THE ELITE AMATEUR SERIES
The Western has long been an anchor of the summer major schedule, and the last big test before the U.S. Amateur, but this year it takes on even greater significance as the finale of the Elite Amateur Golf Series
Launched just this year, the Elite Amateur Golf Series is an alliance of seven Majors of Amateur Golf
that aims to provide exceptional playing opportunities for the best amateur golfers to compete at the highest level. Top finishers in the series earn exemptions into USGA Championships, PGA Tour, and Korn Ferry Tour. After six events, Caleb Surratt
of Indian Trail, N.C., tops the standings on the strength of four top-4 finishes in the six events.
Beginning with the Sweet 16 match play competition at historic Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois, the WGA expects to provide more than 12 hours of live streaming coverage on Friday, Aug. 5, and Saturday, Aug. 6, bringing the excitement of golf’s third-oldest amateur championship to homes and mobile devices worldwide.
The live stream will be sponsored by WGA partners Peter Millar and Titleist and will be available at GolfChannel.com and thewesternamateur.com, with replays on the Peacock streaming service and golfpass.com.
Friday, Aug. 5
10:00 am to 1:00 pm Central Time – Sweet 16 matches on GolfChannel.com
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm Central – Finish of the Quarterfinal matches on GolfChannel.com
Saturday, Aug. 6,
9:30 am to 12:30 pm Central – Coverage of the two semifinal matches
1:00 pm Central (expected) – Championship match, streamed in its entirety
The 2021 champ (Western Golf Association photo)
In 2021, streaming coverage featured Pierceson Coody
, then the No. 2 player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and now a winner on the Korn Ferry Tour; Thorbjornsen, who finished fourth
at the Travelers Championship on the PGA TOUR in June; Gordon Sargent
, who won the individual
NCAA Championship in May; and Austin Greaser
, who finished second at the 2021 U.S. Amateur. Thorjbornsen eventually outlasted Sargent 4 and 3 in an exciting championship match.
Related: Michael Thorbjornsen wins 119th Western Amateur
Live coverage will be supported by interviews, championship highlights and features on the history of the WGA, Western Amateur and Exmoor Country Club. The WGA is working with Thaler Media in Palm Beach, Florida, to produce the two days of live coverage, pre-produced content, and social media interactions with golf fans. David Marr III and Tripp Isenhour will call the action, and Emilia Migliaccio
– runner-up at the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur – will provide on-course reporting.
“We’re building on our experience from streaming the 2018 and 2021 Western Amateurs, blending engaging on-air talent with new features to create a professional production,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA senior vice president of tournaments. “We’re thankful to our partners at Titleist and Peter Millar for helping bring the Western Amateur to a worldwide audience.”
The 2022 Western Amateur will feature one of the strongest fields ever, led by Thorbjornsen (Stanford), the defending champion and No. 5-ranked amateur in the world. The PING All-American Second Team selection made the Arnold Palmer Cup, qualified for the 2022 U.S. Open and received a sponsor’s exemption to play in this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic on the PGA TOUR.
Sargent (Vanderbilt), the No. 4-ranked amateur and an All-American First Team selection, is also back after his runner-up finish a year ago. He’ll be joined by Greaser (North Carolina), who played in the Masters this year and made the cut at the U.S. Open; Travis Vick
, who helped Texas to the NCAA Championship team title and finished as the low amateur
at the 2022 U.S. Open; Ricky Castillo
(Florida), who has made the Sweet 16 in three consecutive years; and standouts like Dylan Menante
(Pepperdine), Michael Brennan
(Wake Forest), David Ford
(North Carolina) and Adrien Dumont De Chassart