Hills Country Club hosted the 123rd U.S. Amateur Championship last month and
the players, venue and fans did not disappoint. 19-year-old Nick Dunlap, the
University of Alabama golfer who’s ranked No. 9 in the world among amateurs,
made an amazing 12 birdies in 33 holes on Sunday to defeat Ohio State’s Neal
Shipley 4 and 3 in the title match.
who won the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2021, joined Tiger Woods as the only golfers
to have won both the Junior Am and the U.S. Amateur. Actually, Woods won each
of those championships three times.
to be in the same conversation as Tiger is a dream come true,” Dunlap said.
“It’s something I’ve worked my entire life for.
is “the biggest day of my life.”
read more about the Final Match,
Count Reportedly Reaches 20,000 for the Week: Jim
Hillary, the general chairman of the 123rd U.S. Amateur, said that in “very
loose numbers” over 6,000 people attended the championship on Sunday, with
around 20,000 coming for the week. By all accounts, the crowds were large by
U.S. Am standards.
don’t think it could have been any better,” Hillary said in general when asked
how the championship went. “We had wonderful weather, great crowds. We had a
great final pairing. Today we had the artist and the engineer, and today the
Dunlap was certainly impressed by the attendance.
crowd that Cherry Hills brought, I got to kind of turn around and looked a
couple times, and I imagine there was a couple thousand people out there
watching, and it was just awesome to be in the middle of it.”
addition, more than 2,000 kids participated in the Junior Experience
activities. About 2,500 hats, 1,500 sleeves of balls and five sets of junior
golf clubs were given away in that regard.
Retrospect: Looking back on a memorable week, here are some
of the highlights of the 123rd U.S. Amateur:
Manning, the quarterback who helped the Broncos to their Super Bowl 50 victory,
was spectating on Sunday. Manning was the honorary chair for the championship,
and his kids served as standard bearers during the final match. … Both the head
coaches for Dunlap and Shipley at Alabama and Ohio State, respectively, were on
hand during Sunday’s finals, as were some teammates of the finalists. … About
1,100 volunteers helped make the 2023 U.S. Amateur run smoothly this week. …
After the championship ended, the team was finalized for the U.S. Walker Cup
squad that will play Great Britain & Ireland Sept. 2-3 at St. Andrews in
Scotland. All of the team members played in this U.S. Amateur: Dunlap, Sargent,
David Ford, Caleb Surratt, Nick Gabrelcik, Austin Greaser, Stewart Hagestad,
Ben James, Dylan Menante and Preston Summerhays.
Coloradans Fared: Here are the results for the players with
strong Colorado ties who competed in the U.S. Amateur:
Dunlap of Tuscaloosa, Ala., def. Connor Jones of Westminster, 4 and 2
Jones of Westminster def. Vicente Marzilio of Argentina, 4 and 3
Johnston of Libby, Mont. def. Colin Prater of Colorado Springs, 21 holes
Koivun of Chapel Hill, N.C. def. CU golfer Dylan McDermott of Granite Bay,
Calif., 1 up
Connor Jones of Westminster, a CSU golfer 68-70–138
CU golfer Dylan McDermott 72-69—141
Colin Prater of Colorado Springs 74-68–142
Davis Bryant of Aurora 76-73–149
Pat Grady of Westminster 75-74–149
Jack Castiglia of Lakewood 74-77–151
Future CU golfer Brandon Knight 77-74–151
Nick Nosewicz of Aurora 75-80–155
Blake Trimble of Denver 76-82–158
Future CU golfer Parker Paxton 77-81—158
Gavin Hagstrom of Fort Collins 78-81–159
Cole Nygren of Longmont 80-82–162
all the results from the U.S. Am,
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously
since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder,
then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org
since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He
owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com