May 26, 2016
Los Altos G&CC Member Andrew Buchanan Wins U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Title
Chalk up another USGA title that’s coming back to Northern California.
On Wednesday, Benjamin Baxter and Andrew Buchanan, an NCGA member at Los Altos Golf and Country Club, captured the 2016 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at par-70 Winged Foot with a 3 and 2 victory over Brandon Cigna.
It marks the fourth USGA title won by an NCGA member in the last year. National title winners in 2015 were Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis (U.S. Amateur), Olympic Club member Hannah O’ Sullivan (U.S. Women’s Amateur) and Cool resident Karen Garcia (U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur).
Prior to DeChambeau’s win, the last NorCal player to win a USGA title was Monterey’s Mina Harigae in 2007 (U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links). The last male to have won was Stockton’s Ricky Barnes in 2002 (U.S. Amateur).
Former teammates of DeChambeau at Southern Methodist University, it was on the back-nine that Baxter and Buchanan came through. In their morning semifinals match, they were down 4 through eight holes before running off birdies on six of their next nine holes, including three straight wins on holes No.15-No.17 for a 2 and 1 win.
In their finals match, Baxter, 20, and Buchanan, 21, were all-square through 11 holes before running off wins on holes No.12, 14 and 15. Buchanan sank a 16-foot birdie putt on No.12 to start the momentum.
At last year’s inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at the Olympic Club, DeChambeau and Austin Smotherman, then teammates at SMU, failed to reach the finals.
“We were joking that Bryson lost in the Round of 16 last year (with another SMU player, Austin Smotherman), so if we won, then that means a year from now we should be well above him,” said Buchanan. “No, I’m just kidding.”