Three Eagles Qualify for the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship
STATESBORO, Ga. The Georgia Southern University Golf program will have three representatives in the upcoming U.S. Amateur Championships. Assistant coach Carter Collins along with seniors Drew Lethem (Camdenton, MO/Olathe East/Odessa CC) and Jordan Johnstun (Evans/LaGrange) qualified through their sectional competition.
The U.S. Amateur will be held August 18-24 at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina. In all 312 players advanced. The first two days will consist of 36-hole stroke play. Following those two rounds, the field will be trimmed down to the top 64 for match play starting Wednesday. The championship will be held on Sunday, August 24.
The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA championship, was first played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Carter shot an opening round 69 before bouncing back with a final round 64 at the Willow Creek Golf Club in Knoxville, Tennessee. In fact, Carter eagled the Par 5 18th hole to force a playoff.
“We kept getting updates from the guys we played with. (In the playoff) Derek Rende (member of the Chattanooga golf program) and I both hit it right by the green then we both chipped it close. He left it about 3-4 feet away and I was about 2-3 feet. He missed the putt and I made mine,” said Carter, who noted there were 78 golfers vying for three spots.
Lethem shot a 69 in both rounds to qualify at the Staley Farms Golf Club in Kansas City. His two round total of 138 finished first among that sectional field. In fact, this is the second USGA national tournament that Lethem has qualified for this summer. Last month he competed in the USGA Amateur Public Links championship in Aurora, Colorado. Carding a 145, Lethem won his Public Links sectional (also played at Staley Farms) by two strokes.
Carter noted, “It is pretty rare to qualify for both events in the same summer.”
Johnstun’s two round total of 142 placed him second in his field at the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Alabama. Now all three Eagles will be ultimately competing against each other for the most prestigious Amateur golf award in the country.
“It is a great honor to go out and represent Georgia Southern in our nation’s best Amateur tournament. Just to qualify for this event is a special occasion,” said Carter. “I think it shows where we are heading (as a program). It shows the kind of players we have here and the amount of hard work this summer they have put in to be able to qualify for this prestigious event.”
Published on Thursday, 07 August 2008 00:29