October 3, 2018
USGA Announces U.S. Junior Amateur Field Increase
Good news for Northern California junior boys’ has arrived. On Wednesday, aligning with ongoing initiatives to expand its support of junior golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced that the field size for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship will increase from 156 players to 264, beginning with the 2020 championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. (July 20-25). Chaska Town Course will serve as the stroke play co-host course, as it did for the 2006 U.S. Amateur Championship at Hazeltine National.
“Increasing the U.S. Junior Amateur field to 264 players gives an additional 108 deserving junior golfers an opportunity to compete in the preeminent championship in junior golf,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director for Championships. “The larger field will allow for an expansion of exemptions that will ensure deserving players from around the world will have the chance to compete for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Trophy and a spot in the U.S. Open.”
In 2017, USGA announced several significant enhancements to the U.S. Junior Amateur. The maximum age for USGA junior championships was raised from 17 to 18, the field size was increased from 156 beginning in 2020, and a U.S. Open exemption was awarded to the champion. Noah Goodwin, the 2017 Junior Amateur champion, played in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.
“As we do with all our championships, we annually evaluate and refine the conduct of our competitions. Any strategic changes come from that work, which includes valuable input from players, coaches and Allied Golf Associations,” said Greg Sanfilippo, director of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. “We look forward to welcoming more players to the championship venue and providing them with a world-class experience.”
The U.S. Junior Amateur was first played in 1948. The championship is open to amateurs who have not reached their 19th birthday by the conclusion of the championship and who have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 4.4. Tiger Woods (three times), Jordan Spieth (twice), Johnny Miller, David Duval and Hunter Mahan are among the notable U.S. Junior Amateur champions. The USGA accepted 3,693 entries for the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur at Baltusrol Golf Club, won by Michael Thorbjornsen.