The United States Amateur Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Amateur, is the leading annual golf tournament in the United States for amateur golfers….which is organized by the United States Golf Association….and in 2018 is currently held each August over a 7-day period.
In 1894 there were two tournaments called the “National Amateur Championship”….with one of them being played at Newport Country Club….and was won by William G. Lawrence….while the other took place at St Andrew’s Golf Club….and was won by Laurence B. Stottard….which prompted Charles B. Macdonald of the Chicago Golf Club to call for the creation of a national governing body to authorize an official national championship….and the Amateur Golf Association of the United States….which was soon to be renamed the United States Golf Association, was formed on December 22, 1894….and In 1895, it organized both the first U.S. Amateur Championship….and the first U.S. Open….both of which were played at Newport Country Club.
There are no age or gender restrictions on entry….but players must have a handicap index of 2.4 or less. Originally, entry was restricted to members of USGA-affiliated private clubs….which was not lifted until 1979. The tournament consists of two days of stroke play….after which the leading 64 competitors then play a knockout competition of match play to decide the champion….as all knockout matches are over 18 holes except for the final….which consists of 36 holes….which are separated into morning and afternoon 18-hole rounds. In the world of 2018, it is usually won by players in their late teens or early twenties….who are working towards a career as a member of the PGA tournament circuit….whereas, before World War II, more “top-level” golfers chose to remain amateur….and the average age of U.S. Amateur champions was significantly higher.
Many of the leading figures in the history of golf have been U.S. Amateur Champion….including Bobby Jones (5 times), Jerome Travers (4 times), Jack Nicklaus (twice) and Tiger Woods (3 times)….with Tiger being the only one with 3 National Titles in a row. Before the professional game became dominant, the event was regarded as one of the majors….but this is no longer the case….as the champion still receives an automatic invitation to play in all of the majors except the PGA Championship….and in addition, the runner-up also receives an invitation to play in the Masters and the U.S. Open. However, the golfers must maintain their amateur status at the time the events are held….unless they qualify for the tournaments by other means.
This 1985 US Amateur tournament was played at the Montclair Golf Club….and won by Sam Randolph in a 1 up match play win over Peter Persons…..as the highlights and overviews are brought by ABC’s Jack Whitaker….an icon for ABC Sports horse racing an golf events…..which all makes this an enjoyable view from days gone by….which are too soon being forgotten.