Zimbabwean amateur golfer Sean Crocker will be hoping to further underline his growing status as one of the top amateur golfers in the world when he tees off at the prestigious United States Amateur Championship in Michigan, United States tomorrow.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The US Amateur Championship is one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments for amateur golfers with an illustrious list of previous winners such as former world number one Tiger Woods.
This year’s edition will run from tomorrow through to Sunday at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Michigan and Harare-born Crocker, who turns 20 on August 31, will be the only Zimbabwean in the field for the tournament.
The field, 312 golfers, will play 36 holes of strokeplay tomorrow and Tuesday with the top 64 advancing to the elimination match play phase of the tournament beginning on Wednesday.
The two finalists meet in a 36-hole final.
The winner of the US Amateur Championship will receive an automatic invitation to play in all of the major championships, except the PGA Championship, while the runner-up will earn an invitation to play in both the Masters and US Open.
Crocker — who is currently the highest-ranked African on the World Amateur Golf Rankings — will head into this year’s tournament with high hopes after reaching last year’s semifinals, where he lost to eventual champion Bryson DeChambeau.
The US-based star is also currently in very good form.
He won the Monroe Invitational at the Monroe Golf Club in New York in June and recently finished in a tie for second at this year’s Northeast Amateur with a 72-hole total of 5-under 271.
His form earned him selection into the Zimbabwe team for the World Amateur Team Championships (Eisenhower Trophy) to be held in Mexico next month but he withdrew citing academic commitments at the University of Southern California where he is on a golf scholarship.
The US Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in the US, as it is one day older than the US Open.
Throughout the history of the tournament, which began in 1895, the US Amateur has been one of the most coveted amateur titles.
Among the previous winners are five-time champion Bobby Jones, two-time champion Jack Nicklaus, 1990 champion Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, who is the only player to have ever won the US Amateur title three years in a row.