78 players competed for three spots into the U.S. Amateur Championship to be played at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisc. on August 22-28 today. Players battled the championship layout in perfect sunny conditions today and ultimately Tze Huang Choo of Singapore, Charlie Hughes of Canada, and Austin Hurt of Bainbridge Island, Wash. prevailed.
Choo a recent graduate of the University of Washington claimed medalist honors after rounds of 72-68 for a 36-hole total of 2-under par 140. Beginning his opening round with a double-bogey on hole 10, Choo then made 9 straight pars before going birdie-birdie on holes 2-3 to get back to even par. From there Choo would add 3 more bogeys at holes 4, 6, and 8 but mixed in birdies at holes 7 and 9 to finish the opening 18 holes at 1-over par 72. In the afternoon Choo would start on hole 1 and make 6 straight pars before rattling off an eagle on the par-5 7th hole followed by birdies on holes 8, 9, and 11 with just 2 bogeys on holes 10 and 18 for a round of 3-under par 68.
Hughes who will be a junior at the University of Washington punched his ticket to the U.S. Amateur after consistent rounds of 70 and 71 for a 36-hole total of 1-under par 141. Hughes made 6 birdies against 5 bogeys in his opening round and added 4 more birdies and bogeys in his afternoon round on a very challenging course where he and Choo both have some local knowledge as past and present members of the UW golf team.
Hurt a recent graduate of Washington State University captured the final qualifying spot with a 36-hole total of 2-over par 144 after rounds of 73 and 71. Hurt was 3-over after just 8 holes in his morning round but battled back and played the final 10 holes in 1-under par and then matched 4 birdies with 4 bogeys in the afternoon to finish at just 2-over for the day.
Kent Hagen of Covington, Wash. outlasted Sean Packer of Lake Tapps, Wash. and Michael Cairns of Carnation, Wash. in a 3-hole playoff for first and second alternate at 4-over par 146.
Entries for the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship were open for players (no age limit) with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 2.4