Global Golf Post is pleased to present our seventh All-Amateur team selections.
We take pride, and equal joy, in supporting the global amateur game. This annual effort, indicative of both, is intended to recognize individual performance during the past 12 months for men and women amateurs, mid-amateurs, and senior amateurs.
All told, 179 players from 26 nations are honored. And among those players, two stood out as GGP’s Amateurs of the Year – Stanford University graduate Brandon Wu and Oregon’s great senior amateur competitor Lara Tennant.
Here’s how we made our selections: For the men and women amateurs, we were guided largely by the World Amateur Golf Rankings. A partnership of the USGA and the R&A, these rankings generally are acknowledged to be the best in the game. The primary metric considered was the number of points accrued this year.
Identifying worthy mid-amateur and senior amateurs around the world, particularly women, was more challenging. We scoured the results and national rankings in an effort to identify the best in the world in 2019.
A few caveats: First, the mid-amateur and senior amateur game is not nearly as well developed around the world when compared to North America. For that reason, the mid-amateur and senior amateurs teams are dominated by Americans.
Second, we used the USGA minimum ages for the mid-amateurs and senior amateurs – 25 for mid-amateurs, 50 for senior women and 55 for senior men.
Finally, for the most part, we discounted performance in junior tournaments. That said, a few juniors populate the teams. The No. 1-ranked woman in the WAGR, Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul, had an extraordinary year despite being just 16. On the men’s side, 17-year-old Akshay Bhatia spent much of the year firmly perched inside the top 10 in the WAGR and was named to the U.S. Walker Cup team, while England’s Conor Gough, 17, rose to No. 2 in the WAGR and became the second-youngest player to compete in the Walker Cup.
Some of our honorees turned professional at some point this year, but that does not diminish what they accomplished while playing as amateurs in 2019. Where appropriate, they were included.
For each of our selections, we prepared a thumbnail description of what he or she accomplished. It is by no means meant to be a comprehensive description; for certain players, that might have required a full page.
In closing, we again quote World Golf Hall of Fame member Richard S. Tufts, who penned what has come to be known and the Creed of the Amateur. His words perfectly capture the spirit of this effort:
“Amateurism, after all, must be the backbone of all sport, golf or otherwise. In my mind an amateur is one who competes in a sport for the joy of playing, for the companionship it affords, for health-giving exercise, and for relaxation from more serious matters. As a part of this lighthearted approach to the game, he accepts cheerfully all adverse breaks, is considerate of his opponent, plays the game fairly and squarely in accordance with its rules, maintains self control, and strives to do his best, not in order to win, but rather as a test of his own skill and ability. These are his only interests, and, in them, material considerations have no part. The returns which amateur sport will bring to those who play it in this spirit are greater than those any money can possibly buy.”