U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Thrills For Former USGA Executive Committee Member Jim Williams
May 2, 2015
Father’s Day is officially still over a month away, but it came early for Orinda resident and San Francisco Golf Club member Jim Williams on Saturday at the Olympic Club.
The 59-year-old Williams, a regular on the NCGA Senior Amateur Tour, is playing with his 25-year-old son, Scott, in the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
The Williamses are one of three father-son teams in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball field.
As a bonus, the elder Williams had his other son, Bryant, on the bag for the championship as a caddie.
“To say that it’s a thrill of a lifetime is quite an understatement,” Williams said. “We’re all very excited.”
Williams began thinking of competing in the inaugural event with his son as soon as he heard about it, and that was before just about anyone else. Williams was a member of the USGA Executive Committee from 2010-2012, when the formation of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball was proposed.
“Once I knew it was happening, I thought ‘We’re definitely going to try and get in,’” Williams said.
Still, the Williamses had to qualify. They’d earn their spot in a qualifier held at River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard after shooting a medalist-earning 63.
While Jim still plays a lot (he recently finished second at the San Francisco City Senior Championship), Scott is getting back into the swing of things.
Like Bryant, Scott played at the University of Pennsylvania and even won the 2010 Ivy League individual title. Since leaving college though, Scott hasn’t played nearly as much due in part to keeping busy with his job at a solar energy company.
Jim estimated that, at the time, the qualifier in Oxnard was Scott’s first round in over a year. Saturday’s first round at the Olympic was only his second since the qualifier.
“Overall, this is probably Scott’s third or fourth round in three years since he won the Ivys,” Jim said.
The Williamses opened with a 2-over 72 on the par-70 Ocean Course, leaving them at T-75. Following Sunday’s second round, the low 32 teams will move on the match play.
Should they fail to advance, Williams will probably still be celebrating in the evening. He’s also a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, who open the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday versus the Memphis Grizzlies.