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The 122nd U.S. Amateur: Ramblings from Ridgewood
12 Aug 2022
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, Ridgewood Country Club

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From the 1935 Ryder Cup to Jerry Pate's triumph in 1974; Byron Nelson to Luther Vandross; Santiago De la Fuente del Valle to Bo Jin; Ho-Ho-Kus to Paramus; schedules and broadcast times; and everything in between -- it's all here in our U.S. Amateur pre-tournament notebook.

It's Been Awhile
Though no stranger to championship golf, it's been 48 years since Ridgewood Country Club last hosted the U.S. Amateur. In 1974, 20-year-old Jerry Pate, then a senior at the University of Alabama, defeated John Grace, a Fort Worth real estate man, 2 and 1 on the 35th hole to claim the title.

“I've no ideas of being a pro now,” Pate said after the match. “My big thing is to get my degree. Then I might go pro. But I'm not sure that's what I want.” Two years later, Pate won the U.S. Open at Atlanta Athletic Club in his first year on the PGA Tour.

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MapQuest
Ridgewood Country Club is not in the village of Ridgewood. Founded in 1890 in neighboring Ho-Ho-Kus, the club purchased its current Paramus home in 1927, started construction on the massive Norman Revival clubhouse and hired A.W. Tillinghast to build 27 championship holes. Ridgewood Country Club contains three courses -- East, Center and West -- and this week’s tournament incorporates holes from all three. The routing will start with Holes 1-7 of the East Nine, followed by Nos. 2-6 on the Center Nine and Holes 4-9 on the West Nine.

Related: U.S. Amateur Preview and TV Schedule

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USGA Championships and Ryder Cups at Ridgewood
Ridgewood is welcoming its fifth USGA event in its storied championship history, having previously hosted the 1957 U.S. Senior Amateur, the 1974 U.S. Amateur, the 1990 U.S. Senior Open and the 2016 U.S. Girls' Junior.

The fifth playing of the Ryder Cup Matches were held at Ridgewood Country Club in 1935. The United States team, captained by Walter Hagen, won the competition by a lopsided score of 9–3 points, prompting UPI reporter Stuart Cameron to write, "The English should have done better, if only because the weather was as dark, dismal, and drizzly as any they ever experienced on their native moors and heaths. It was bleak and forbidding.”

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Notable Past Events at Ridgewood Country Club
1935 Ryder Cup Matches (United States)
1938 Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur (Frank Strafaci)
1952 Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur (Joseph Marra)
1957 U.S. Senior Amateur (J. Clark Espie)
1960 Metropolitan Open (Al Mengert)
1974 U.S. Amateur (Jerry Pate)
1979 New Jersey Open (Art Silvestrone Jr.)
1981 Coca-Cola Classic (Kathy Whitworth)
1985 Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur (George Zahringer)
1990 U.S. Senior Open (Lee Trevino)
1994 Metropolitan Open (Charlie Cowell)
2000 Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur (David Kwon)
2001 Senior PGA Championship (Tom Watson)
2003 New Jersey Open (Greg Farrow)
2008 PGA Tour Barclays (Vijay Singh)
2009 Metropolitan Open (Andrew Giuliani)
2010 PGA Tour Barclays (Matt Kuchar)
2016 U.S. Girls' Junior (Eun Jeong Seong)

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Lord Byron and Ridgewood Country Club
While working as an assistant professional at The Ridgewood Country Club, the great Byron Nelson won many tournaments while representing the club, including the New Jersey State Open in 1935 at Monmouth County C.C. and the Met Open in 1936 at Quaker Ridge.

Legend has hit that one day the Ridgewood caddies pooled their money and bet Nelson, who was developing a reputation as one of the straightest hitters in the game, could not hit the tall metal flagpole beyond the practice putting green from the deck outside of the pro shop, which was about 93 yards away. Given three tries, Iron Byron hit the stick on his second try using his 3-iron, much to the amazement of the caddies. Today, a small plaque on that deck commemorates Nelson’s shot.

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Rest in Peace
Just to the right of the fourth hole on Ridgewood's Center Course is George Washington Memorial Park, the final resting place for former New York Yankees catcher Elston Howard, the first African-American to win the American League MVP, as well as Grammy Award-winning singers Luther Vandross and O’Kelly Isley, Jr. of The Isley Brothers. George Jacobus, the beloved former head professional at Ridgewood and a pioneer in the PGA of America, is also buried there. Kevin Streelman, who finished tied for fourth at the 2008 Barclay's held at Ridgewood during his rookie season on tour, was able to pay his respects to his grandparents, both of whom are buried there.

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Ridgewood's "Five and Dime" Hole
Ridgewood’s famous “Five and Dime” hole, usually listed as No. 6 on the “Center” nine of Ridgewood’s 27-hole complex, is one of the original drivable par-4s that has become commonplace in many championship setups. The 291-yard dogleg derives from how Byron Nelson used to play the hole: a five-iron off the tee and a ten-iron (pitching wedge) onto the elevated putting surface. The putting surface, sloping from high left to low right and measuring less than 2,200 square feet, is considered one of the smallest in championship golf.

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For the Birds
Ridgewood Country Club was certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 1996.

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And Not to be Forgotten
Designed by Herbert H. Barker & William G. Wilkinson with subsequent renovations by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Steve Smyers, neighboring Arcola Country Club will serve as the stroke play co-host in this year's U.S. Amateur. Opened in 1909, the course will play to a par of 70 and approximately 7,256 yards. Other notable events hosted by Arcola CC include the 1920 New Jersey Amateur (William M. Reekie), 1943 New Jersey Amateur (Frank Bedford) and the 2018 Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur (Ryan Davis).

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Jersey Boys
Austin Devereux of Brielle, N.J., the 2020 New Jersey Amateur champion and William O'Neill of Morristown, N.J., will have the honor of striking the first tee shots off Nos. 1 and 10 at Arcola Country Club on day one. They are two of five New Jersey residents in the field, along with Mark Costanza (Morristown), Dougie Ergood Jr. (Mount Laurel) and Matthew Mattare (Jersey City). Costanza was the runner-up to Stewart Hagestad in last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur at Sankaty Head Golf Club, in Siasconset, Mass. Rhett Sellers, a junior from Rutgers University located in Piscataway, is also in the field.

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From Near and Far
O'Neill and Costanza have about a 45-minute drive from their homes in Morristown, NJ to Ridgewood Country Club. Conversely, Kazuma Kobori's travel time from his home in Christchurch, New Zealand to the Ridgewood gates is approximately 12,000 miles.

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Players in Field with Most U.S. Amateur Appearances
Stewart Hagestad (13), Charles Waddell (7), Joe Alfieri (6), Travis Vick (6), Robbie Ziegler (6), Garrett Barber (5), Ricky Castillo (5), Jack Dukeminier (5), Palmer Jackson (5), Bobby Leopold (5), Bryce Lewis (5), Nick Lyerly (5), William Mouw (5), Matt Parziale (5), Brett Patterson (5), Preston Summerhays (5), Michael Thorbjornsen (5).

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Campus Bragging Rights
The University of North Carolina will be well-represented at the U.S. Amateur, as five current Tar Heel players -- fifth-year senior Ryan Burnett (Lafayette, Calif.), seniors Austin Greaser (Vandalia, Ohio) and Dylan Menante (Carlsbad, Calif.), junior Peter Fountain (Raleigh, N.C.) and sophomore David Ford (Peachtree Corners, Ga.) – are in the field. Additionally, Dougie Ergood of Mount Laurel, N.J., who graduated from UNC in the spring and will be playing a fifth season at Charlotte, is also in the field.

Two returning and two incoming Pepperdine players will be in Paramus, including returning All-Americans Derek Hitchner and William Mouw, who will be joined by new graduate transfers Sam Choi and Luke Gifford.

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Family Ties
Haymes Snedeker, 46, of Daphne, Ala., the older brother of PGA Tour veteran Brandt, earned All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors at Ole Miss in 1999, when he led the Rebels to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1985. He was the first Rebel golfer to be named Academic All-SEC four years in a row. Preparing to chase the professional dream, Haymes’ circumstances changed when his mother, Candy, needed open-heart surgery, and his father, Larry, needed back surgery. With Brandt at Vanderbilt and his career taking off, Haymes put his career on hold and stayed home to care for his parents. Haymes went to law school and became one of the nation’s youngest municipal court judges at age 32. He is co-founder and principal of Hix Snedeker Companies, a real estate developer. He is competing in his third U.S. Amateur.

Carson Herron, 20, of Deephaven, Minn., is the son of former PGA Tour professional Tim. He was named the 2022 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year after his inaugural year at the University of New Mexico. The Herron family is one of three families with three generations of U.S. Open qualifiers. Tim, Carson (Tim’s father) and Carson (Tim’s grandfather) all played in the USGA’s flagship event. Alissa Herron, Carson’s aunt, won the 1999 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur with Tim on the bag. Tim is one of three players to defeat Tiger Woods in a USGA amateur match-play event, prevailing in the Round of 32 in the 1992 U.S. Amateur.

Angelo Marcon, 20, of San Francisco, Calif., is the grandson of Fred Marcon, a former club president at The Ridgewood Country Club. Marcon is coming off a freshman season at Notre Dame that included a second-place finish at the Sonoran Amateur, fourth-place finish at the Schenkel Invitational and a top-20 finish in the Porter Cup.

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Notable Pairings

Elite Amateur Series Winners
David Ford (Southern Amateur)
Luke Clanton (North/South Amateur)
William Mouw (Trans-Miss Amateur)

Worldwide Winners
Jose Antonio Safa (2022 Mexican Amateur)
Luis Carrera (2022 Canadian Amateur)
Aaron Jarvis (Latin America Amateur)

USGA Champions
Wenyi Ding (2022 U.S. Junior)
Stewart Hagestad (2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur)
Davis Womble (2022 U.S. Four-Ball)

Chad Wilfong (2022 U.S. Four-Ball)
Nick Dunlap (2021 U.S. Junior)
Matt Parziale (2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur)

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The Long and Short of It

Longest Names in the Field
Santiago De la Fuente del Valle (26)
Rasmus Neergaard Petersen (23)
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira (24)
Ratchanon Chantananuwat (22)
Adrien Dumont de Chassart (22)
Maximilian Steinlechner (22)

Shortest Names in the Field
Bo Jin (5)
Sam Choi (7)
Ben Carr (7)
Yu Ta Tsai (8)

• • • • •

Sign Me Up
The USGA accepted 7,749 entries for the 2022 tournament, the fourth-highest in history. A competitor cannot have a Handicap Index exceeding 2.4.

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What the Champion Receives
• A gold medal
• Custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for one year
• Exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Amateurs
• Exemption into 2023 U.S. Open at The Los Angeles Country Club
• Exemption into 2023 Open Championship, conducted by The R&A (must be an amateur)
• Likely invitation into 2023 Masters Tournament (must be an amateur)

• • • • •

Schedule of Play
Monday, Aug. 15 (18 holes, stroke play)
Tuesday, Aug. 16 (18 holes, stroke play)
Wednesday, Aug. 17 (Round of 64, match play)
Thursday, Aug. 18 (Round of 32 matches)
Friday, Aug. 19 (Quarterfinal matches)
Saturday, Aug. 20 (Semifinal matches)
Sunday, Aug. 21 (36-hole championship match)

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How to Watch

Broadcast Schedule
Wednesday, Aug. 17 (Round of 64): 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT (Peacock)
Wednesday, Aug. 17 (Round of 64): 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel)
Thursday, Aug. 18 (Round of 32): 11 a.m. to Noon EDT (Peacock)
Thursday, Aug. 18 (Round of 32/16): Noon to 2 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel)
Friday, Aug. 19 (Quarterfinals): 11 a.m. to Noon EDT (Peacock)
Friday, Aug. 19 (Quarterfinals): Noon to 2 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel)
Saturday, Aug. 20 (Semifinals): 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel)
Sunday, Aug. 21 (Championship Match, Afternoon 18): 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel)

The USGA contributed to this report.

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