Denver, CO – Cherry Hills, the historic William Flynn-designed golf course set against the panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, is prepared to host its third United States Amateur Championship August 14-20.
“Cherry Hills hosting the U.S. Amateur Championship for the third time brings great pride to the club and the community,” said Cherry Hills President Kim Koehn. “The club has been hosting golf’s most historic championships since the 1938 United States Open, and we’re excited to add to the rich golfing legacy these fairways have witnessed over the past century. Together with the USGA, we share a powerful and galvanizing vision to host major events in a manner that welcomes, inspires, and unites all in attendance with a spirit of pride and appreciation for all the good golf can bring.”
Cherry Hills, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a club this summer, previously hosted the USGA’s oldest national championship in 1990 and 2012. Future six-time major winner Phil Mickelson brought home the U.S. Amateur title in 1990. The 2012 championship at Cherry Hills is now remembered for welcoming one of the deepest fields of future professional stars in the history of the event. Tennessee’s Steven Fox, who had to survive a 17-man playoff for 14 spots in stroke play to qualify for match play in the event, defeated Michael Weaver in an epic 37-hole final match. History, though, will point to the deep collection of future golfing superstars who each of the finalists had to outlast to vie for the championship.
Future PGA Tour winners and major champions in the 2012 U.S. Amateur field included Justin Thomas (15 PGA Tour wins, two majors), Jordan Spieth (13 PGA Tour wins, three majors), and Bryson DeChambeau (eight PGA Tour wins, one major). Other eventual PGA Tour winners include Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Daniel Berger, Taylor Gooch, Mackenzie Hughes, Trey Mullinax, Sepp Straka, and Aaron Wise. Together, this group has compiled 68 PGA Tour wins and seven major championships, making the case of arguably the greatest field for a U.S. Amateur in modern times.
Since the inaugural event in 1895, the U.S. Amateur has enjoyed an illustrious history of legendary champions, including Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods. In 1930, Jones completed his epic Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Woods, in 1996, became the first golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles.
When the best amateurs in the world arrive at Cherry Hills this year, they will see a noticeably different golf course than the one they competed on a decade earlier. In 2007, celebrated golf course architect Tom Doak and his Renaissance Golf Design firm were commissioned to begin a long-term restoration plan that was partially completed for the 2012 championship but continued for another decade under associate Eric Iverson until completion last year.
The biggest change players will encounter will be with the restoration of Little Dry Creek throughout the golf course. To restore Flynn’s original design, Little Dry Creek was rerouted closer to the front of the green on the 14th hole, next to the green on the seventh, and continuing to flow tightly alongside the newly re-designed eighth hole. Little Dry Creek was also moved more into play on the 15th hole, where the recent rediscovery and restoration of Flynn’s original left side of the green helped create a more thought-provoking approach. The creek now runs closer to the 15th green, down the 16th fairway and alongside the green, further highlighting the genius and creativity of Flynn’s original design and fortifying the challenge for the best amateurs in the world.
The starting field of 312 players for the U.S. Amateur Championship will play 18 holes of stroke play on Aug. 14 and 15, with one round at Cherry Hills and one at Colorado Golf Club, the stroke-play co-host for the championship, after which the field will be cut to the low 64 scores. Six rounds of match play begin on Wednesday, Aug. 16. The championship concludes with a 36-hole championship match on Sunday, Aug. 20. The winner and runner-up are exempt into the following year’s U.S. Open and The Masters.
Just as vital to Cherry Hills as hosting national golf championships on a regular basis, is a dedication and passion to give back to the game and create turning-point opportunities for youth in the local community. Proceeds from the Championship will be donated to charities across Colorado including the Palmer Scholarship, the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation and The First Tee with the goal of growing the game of golf, assisting with scholarships, and impacting the lives of young people across the Centennial State.
“We’re obviously proud to present unparalleled championship golf to the world-class participants and the spectators of the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills, but the charitable impact in the community made possible through this championship is a legacy that means everything to the club,” says Koehn.
For more information about the U.S. Amateur, click here.
ABOUT CHERRY HILLS Cherry Hills is intertwined in the fabric of American golf history. The club was founded in 1922 on 272 acres south of Denver, Colorado and designed by renowned course architect William Flynn. The club’s history of hosting USGA championships began with the 1938 U.S. Open, the first time the tournament was held west of the Mississippi River, the famous 1960 U.S. Open, the 1976 U.S. Senior Amateur, the 1978 U.S. Open, the 1983 U.S. Mid-Amateur, the 1990 U.S. Amateur, the 1993 U.S. Senior Open, the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open, and the 2012 U.S. Amateur. Cherry Hills is the site of one of the most famous opening shots and monumental rounds in championship golf history when Arnold Palmer drove the first green in the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open and made birdie on his way to a final round 65 to win. Cherry Hills is the only course in the U.S., other than Augusta National, where Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus both won a major championship. The champions who have triumphed at Cherry Hills have included some of the game’s greats: Palmer, Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Jay Siegel, Hubert Green, Andy North, Ralph Guldahl, Vic Ghezzi, Babe Didrikson-Zaharias and Lewis Oehmig. Cherry Hills is ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Courses by Golf Digest, GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in the U.S. and Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses and Best Private Courses.
For more information, visit www.CHCC.com.
About the USGA The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment, handicapping and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.