Local golfers continue to standout on national stage
Josh Martin and Eric Bae, both of Pinehurst, are the 1st and 2nd Alternates respectively for the U.S. Amateur after Monday’s local qualifying round held at Benvenue Country Club in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Jackson Van Paris, also from Pinehurst and a rising freshman at The O’Neil School, punched his ticket to Pebble Beach, California last week at the Oak Valley Golf Club in Advance, North Carolina.
A rising senior at the University of North Carolina and Pinecrest graduate, Martin shot 7 under par for the 2-day qualifier, but missed the top spot by only 1 shot. Finishing just one shot behind Martin was Bae, who earned 2nd Alternate honors. Bae will be a Junior at Wake Forest University this fall. They played together on some very good Pinecrest High School teams that won several 4A Sandhills High School Athletic Association titles.
Earning Medalist honors by finishing in a tie for first were Stephen Behr of Florence, South Carolina and Ryan Stachler of Milton, Georgia. They finished on top if the 48-man field and will be going to Pebble Beach. As 1st Alternate, Martin will be eligible to play if either Behr or Stachler withdraw.
The U.S. Amateur Championship will be held August 13-19 at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach, California. The championship is open to all competitors with a handicap of 2.4 or lower. The United States Golf Association sponsored 95 qualifying sites across the country, selecting the best 312 players to compete for the Havemeyer trophy, first awarded in 1895.
Bryson DeChambeau was the 2015 U.S. Amateur Champion. He now is young start on the PGA Tour. Other notable players to win the U.S. Amateur are Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar and Tiger Woods, who won 3 consecutive years in the mid 1990’s.
Next year the U.S. Amateur will be held at the Pinehurst Resort. Pinehurst was also the venue for the 2008 U.S. Amateur won by another PGA player, Danny Lee.