July 9, 2018
118th U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links: Preview Day
Already exempt thanks to his victory at last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur, Noah Goodwin was on hand at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Monday as part of Preview Day for the upcoming U.S Amateur Championship.
It’s the first time that Goodwin, who hails from Texas, has not only visited the Monterey Peninsula, but also the hallowed grounds of Pebble Beach. Like everyone else, he was impressed.
“Just to walk the fairways here, it’s so surreal,” Goodwin said.
Come this year’s championship, slated for August 13-19 at Pebble Beach and co-host Spyglass Hill, Goodwin will be joined by 311 others as they begin the quest to win what is the USGA’s oldest championship (the U.S. Amateur predates the U.S. Open by a day). While he’s still getting used to the Pebble Beach layout, Goodwin does know that winning the U.S. Amateur will be both and physical and mental grind. The championship will last a total of seven days: Stroke Play qualifying (Monday and Tuesday), First Round of Match Play (Wednesday), Second and Third Rounds of Match Play (Thursday), Quarterfinals (Friday), Semifinals (Saturday) and 36-hole finale (Sunday).
“You have to pace yourself,” said Goodwin, who won his Junior Am crown at Flint Hills National Golf Club in Kansas. “You don’t want to psyche yourself out.”
This year marks the fifth time that Pebble Beach has hosted the championship. In 1929, Harrison Johnston was the winner, albeit Johnny Goodman got the most press for knocking out Bobby Jones. In 1961, meanwhile, a young Jack Nicklaus won the title.
The last player to win a U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach is David Gossett. That year, Gossett nearly didn’t even make it into match play. He’d card an 80 at Spyglass Hill in the first round of stroke play qualifying. A 71 at Pebble the next day got him in the brackets.
NorCal players who are currently set to tee off via exemptions are two-time Junior Tour of Northern California Player of the Year Justin Suh and 2016 NCGA Player of the Year Shintaro Ban.