11 Amateurs Part of This Years Field
Eleven amateurs have made the 156-player field, the fourth consecutive year that 10 or more amateurs are competing at Oakmont CC. Derek Bard, the 2015 U.S. Amateur runner-up, and Jon Rahm, who earned the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, are in this group.
Bard, of New Hartford, N.Y., was selected to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference squad for the second consecutive year as a member of the University of Virginia team. He has played in two U.S. Amateurs and two U.S. Junior Amateurs, advancing to match play in all four championships. Bard won the 2015 Sunnehanna Amateur by one stroke with a 72-hole score of 12-under 268. He defeated Rahm in the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Amateur en route to his runner-up finish to Bryson DeChambeau at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.
Rahm, of Spain, received the Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation’s top collegiate player and became the first player to win the Ben Hogan Award twice. He won this year’s Pac-12 individual championship and the NCAA Albuquerque Regional. Rahm, who was medalist in the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship, breaking Nicklaus’ 72-hole scoring record, advanced to the quarterfinals of last year’s U.S. Amateur.
Scottie Scheffler, of Dallas, Texas, helped the University of Texas win this year’s Big 12 Championship and the NCAA Franklin Regional. He was the Big 12’s top newcomer in 2015. Scheffler won the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur and was a quarterfinalist in the U.S. Amateur that same summer. His older sister, Callie, is a member of the Texas A&M University golf team.
Nick Hardy, of Northbrook, Ill., helped the University of Illinois claim the 2016 Big Ten Championship and NCAA Kohler Regional. He was chosen second-team All-Big Ten. Hardy qualified for his first U.S. Open last year and tied for 52nd at Chambers Bay. He has competed in three U.S. Amateurs and two U.S. Junior Amateurs.
Sam Horsfield, of England, was chosen 2016 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year as a member of the University of Florida team. Horsfield, a first-team All-American and All-SEC selection, helped the Gators tie for second at the NCAA Kohler Regional. Horsfield, who has lived in Florida since age 5, has played in 11 USGA championships, including last year’s U.S. Open and three U.S. Amateurs.
Charlie Danielson, of Osceola, Wis., was chosen 2016 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and first-team All-American. Danielson led the University of Illinois to the Big Ten Championship for the seventh time in the last eight years and an NCAA Regional title. He tied for eighth at this year’s NCAA Championship. Danielson, a three-time All-America selection, has competed in three U.S. Amateurs and reached match play at the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
Justin Suh, of San Jose, Calif., helped the University of Southern California make its 10th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. Suh, who was selected to the All-Pac-12 Conference Freshman Team, advanced to match play in four consecutive U.S. Junior Amateurs, from 2011-14. His sister, Hannah, played in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open.
Sam Burns, of Shreveport, La., helped Louisiana State University tie for third at the NCAA Franklin Regional as a freshman. Burns has played in two U.S. Amateurs and advanced to the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball semifinals with partner Austin Connelly. Burns won three consecutive Louisiana state high school championships.
Kyle Mueller, of Athens, Ga., became the first University of Michigan golfer to earn first-team All-Big 10 Conference honors since 2008. He tied for third at this year’s Big Ten Championship. Mueller reached the Round of 16 in the 2015 U.S. Amateur and defeated stroke-play medalist and top seed Brett Coletta, of Australia, in the first round.
Christopher Crawford, of Bensalem, Pa., is the first Drexel University golfer to play in a U.S. Open. A three-time All-America selection, Crawford was voted the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year. Ryan Stachler, of Alpharetta, Ga., is a rising sophomore on the University of South Carolina team.
Note: There have been at least 10 amateurs in nine of the past 10 U.S. Opens. Sixteen amateurs played in last year’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. Brian Campbell, who tied for 27th, was the low amateur. John Goodman was the last amateur to win the championship, in 1933.
Amateurs in Recent U.S. Opens
In 2016, there were 111 local qualifying sites that led to 12 sectional qualifiers, including international sites in Japan and England. Ken Venturi (1964) and Orville Moody (1969) are the only players to win the U.S. Open after qualifying through both local and sectional play. Jerry Pate (1976), Steve Jones (1996), Michael Campbell (2005) and Lucas Glover (2009) have won as sectional qualifiers.