Murphy set to be lone Irishman at US Amateur

By Brian Keogh  

Irish golf will have just one representative in the US Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes from August 10-16.

Kinsale’s John Murphy, who plays for the University of Louisville, will get to tee it up in Oregon.

But the likes of reigning British Amateur champion James Sugrue or Holywood’s Tom McKibbin will have to watch from home due to the COV-19 pandemic.

“I was holding out hope on the USGA gaining a waiver for international players to be allowed to enter the country, but it hasn’t happened,” McKibbin said. “I’m gutted  to be honest. I really wanted to play.”

Had they played, Sugrue and McKibbin would have been forced to self-isolate for 14 days on their return and therefore missed the Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale from August 25-30.

Sugrue is hoping that he will be free to travel for the US Open at Winged Foot in September and November’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National.

As previously announced, the 264-player field for the US Amateur Championship will be entirely made up of exempt players due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Bandon Dunes course will host both stroke play and match play, while the Bandon Trails course will serve as the stroke-play co-host.

 One opportunity remains for golfers to play their way into the U.S. Amateur field, as both the winner and runner-up of the Western Amateur (July 28-Aug. 1) will earn exemptions.

Andy Ogletree, of Little Rock, Miss., returns following his victory in the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club.

Ogletree, 22, a two-time All-American at Georgia Tech and a member of last year’s winning USA Walker Cup Team, seeks to become the first player to win back-to-back Amateurs since Tiger Woods won three consecutive titles from 1994-96.

John Augenstein, who was runner-up to Ogletree last year and a member of the 2019 USA Walker Cup Team, is also in the field.

Six of the top 10 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (as of July 29) are in the field, including No. 2 Ricky Castillo, of Yorba Linda, Calif.; No. 4 Davis Thompson, of Saint Simons Island, Ga.; No. 5 John Pak, of Scotch Plains, N.J.; No. 6 Eduard Rousaud, of Spain; No. 7 Sandy Scott, of Scotland; and No. 9 Ogletree.

The list of 262 golfers currently in the 2020 U.S. Amateur field can be found here. The starting field will play 18 holes of stroke play on Aug. 10 and 11, one round each on Bandon Dunes and Bandon Trails, after which the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers. Six rounds of match play begin on Aug. 12 and the championship concludes with a 36-hole final on Aug. 16. The champion and runner-up will be exempt into the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course, in San Diego, Calif.

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