THE FLATS – Looking to keep the Havemeyer Trophy on the Georgia Tech campus for a third straight year, returning Yellow Jackets Adam Bratton, Bartley Forrester and Ross Steelman, along with recent graduate Noah Norton and alumni Bo Andrews and R.B. Clyburn begin their quest Monday to win the 121st United States Amateur Championship, which is being conducted at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa.
Bratton, a sophomore from Newburgh, Ind., Forrester, a junior from Gainesville, Ga., and Steelman, a junior from Columbia, Mo., are all competing in their first U.S. Amateur. Steelman had the easiest path to the 312-player field, winning medalist honors with a pair of 66s at Rome, Ga., on July 19-20. Bratton has to win a 2-for-1 playoff to grab the third and final spot available in Chesterton, Ind., making eagle on the first extra hole. Forrester lost a 2-for-1 playoff for the fifth and final spot July 14 in Milton, Ga., but got into the field as the first alternate 10 days later.
Norton, a 2021 Tech graduate from Chico, Calif., who completed his eligibility with the Yellow Jackets’ 15th-place finish in the NCAA Championship in June, won the qualifier at Milton with scores of 64-65 at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple course. Andrews, who graduated from Tech in 2014 after helping lead the Jackets to the semifinals of match play at the NCAA Championship, finished second in Longmeadow, Mass., to earn his spot.
Clyburn, a 32-year-old Tech graduate who didn’t play golf for the Yellow Jackets but played wide receiver two seasons as a walk-on for the football team in the late 2000s (read his story here), defeated Forrester on that first extra hole at Crabapple after posting rounds of 67-66.
Oakmont Country Club will be set up at 7,254 yards and will play to a par of 35-35–70. Longue Vue Club, which will serve as the stroke-play co-host course for the two days of stroke play, will be set up at 6,647 yards and play to a par of 36-34–70.
The last two U.S. Amateur champions have come from Georgia Tech – Andy Ogletree in 2019 at Pinehurst Resort (N.C.) and Tyler Strafaci in 2020 at Bandon Dunes (Ore.). Matt Kuchar won the crown in 1997, and the legendary champion Bobby Jones won five times (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930).
Strafaci kept the Havemeyer Trophy in the Georgia Tech family last year by defeating Charlie “Ollie” Osborne, of Reno, Nev., 1 up, in the 36-hole final. Strafaci joined his late grandfather, Frank Strafaci, as a USGA champion. Frank Strafaci won the 1935 U.S. Amateur Public Links. Strafaci’s last four matches of the championship all came down to the par-5 closing hole at Bandon Dunes.
In 2019, Ogletree surged past John Augenstein, 21, of Owensboro, Ky., winning four of the last seven holes to claim the 119th U.S. Amateur Championship title, 2 and 1. Ogletree was 4 down through five holes but chipped away at Augenstein’s lead throughout the afternoon, completing one of the largest comebacks in a U.S. Amateur final. The senior at Georgia Tech made just two bogeys over 35 holes in the championship final, equaling the mark set by 2008 champion Danny Lee and 2017 runner-up Doug Ghim. Ogletree took his first lead of the match when Augenstein failed to get up-and-down from the right greenside bunker on the 32nd hole.
- Ogletree Authors U.S. Amateur Triumph (2019)
- Strafaci Adds to Family Legacy by Winning U.S. Amateur (2020)
- Tyler Strafaci Spectacular En Route to U.S. Amateur Victory (video)
The eventual champion, crowned in a 36-hole final next Sunday, endures a grueling week of golf, beginning with 36 holes of stroke play Monday and Tuesday. Each of the 312 entrants will play one round each at Oakmont and Longue Vue Club. After Tuesday, the low 64 finishers qualify for match play competition – round of 64 Wednesday, rounds of 32 and 16 Thursday, quarterfinal matches Friday, semifinal matches Saturday and the 36-hole championship match on Sunday. All matches through the final will take place at Oakmont.
The 121st U.S. Amateur will receive at least 15 hours of live coverage on NBC, Golf Channel and Peacock streaming service.
IN THE FIELD FOR GEORGIA TECH
Bo Andrews, Graduate, Raleigh, N.C. – Finished second at the Longmeadow, Mass., qualifier to earn his spot. He played in the 2013 Amateur in Brookline, Mass., following his junior year at Tech. After red-shirting in 2010-11, developed into a solid middle-of-the-lineup performer for Tech the last three years, making the travel squad for nearly every event. In 46 career events, posted 11 top-10 finishes, including two top-5s and a win (2013 Gary Koch Invitational). He made the All-ACC team once (2012), and earned GCAA All-Region honors three times. He rose as high as No. 106 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He was a five-time selection to the ACC Academic Honor Roll, three-time selection to the ACC All-Academic team, twice named a GCAA All-America Scholar, and recipient of an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship. (Tee times: 8:30 a.m. Monday, Longue Vue Hole #9/ 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oakmont Hole #1)
Adam Bratton, Sophomore, Newburgh, Ind. – Qualified by winning a 2-for-1 playoff for the third of three spots available in Chesterton, Ind., making eagle on the first extra hole after carding rounds of 65-75. Signed with Tech as the top-ranked junior golfer from the state of Indiana, graduated high school early and enrolled at Georgia Tech for the spring semester of 2020. He was ranked the No. 59-ranked junior golfer in the nation prior to his enrollment, No. 31 in the class of 2020, according to the June Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings. He won the Indiana Amateur Championship this summer, and finished sixth at the Palmetto Amateur. (Tee times: 2:25 p.m. Monday (Aug. 9), Oakmont, Hole #1 / 9:10 a.m. Tuesday (Aug. 10), Longue Vue, Hole #9)
R.B. Clyburn, Graduate, Cartersville, Ga. – Qualified for his first USGA championship by shooting rounds of 67-66 and surviving a 2-for-1 playoff for one of five spots at Capital City Club (Crabapple Course) on July 14. Clyburn, a college basketball official who has worked in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), did not play golf at the collegiate level. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, he was a wide receiver on the Georgia Tech football team for 2½ seasons (2007-09). He later played three years of professional basketball, including two in England and one in Australia, earning an NBA D-League tryout in 2014. His sister, Alexandria, was a middle blocker on the Bryant University volleyball team. (Tee times: 1:55 p.m. Monday (Aug. 9), Oakmont, Hole #1 / 8:40 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 10), Longue Vue, Hole #9)
Bartley Forrester, Junior, Gainesville, Ga. – Was the first alternate at Milton, Ga., after losing a 2-for-1 playoff for the fifth and final qualifying spot to R.B. Clyburn, but was awarded a spot in the field 10 days later. His best finishes this summer have been 20th place at the Monroe Invitational, 23rd at The Dogwood Invitational and 33rd at the Porter Cup. He tied for 18th place at the Amer Ari Invitational last spring for his best finish in five events, and earned a spot in the Tech lineup for the NCAA Championship. He won the Puerto Rico Classic in his second career start in the spring of 2020, before the season was shut down due to COVID-19… His uncle, Carlton, played golf at Georgia Tech from 1996-2000 and earned All-ACC honors in 1999. (Tee times: 1:55 p.m. Monday, Longue Vue Hole #9/ 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, Oakmont Hole #1)
Noah Norton, Graduate, Chico, Calif. – Has competed in four U.S. Amateurs and advanced to the Round of 16 in 2017 and Round of 32 in 2020. Norton also qualified for the U.S. Open in 2019 at Pebble Beach and has reached match play in two U.S. Junior Amateurs. Norton was the medalist with rounds of 64 and 65 in the Milton, Ga., qualifier for this year’s U.S. Amateur. A two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) selection at Georgia Tech, Norton was second in this year’s Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate as a senior. He was the runner-up in both the 2019 North & South Amateur and 2017 California State Amateur and finished eighth in this summer’s Northeast Amateur. He stands No. 82 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. (Tee times: 1:30 p.m. Monday (Aug. 9), Oakmont, Hole #1 / 8:20 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 10), Longue Vue, Hole #9)
Ross Steelman, Junior, Columbia, Mo. – Qualified by winning medalist honors at Rome, Ga., with rounds of 66-66. His best finishes this summer were a tie for third at the Monroe Invitational and a tie for 11th at the Northeast Amateur. A second-team All-SEC selection as a sophomore in 2021 at Missouri who transferred to Georgia Tech following two years at his hometown university, where he won two collegiate events. He finished the 2020-21 collegiate season as the 28th-ranked player in the nation by Golfstat, and No. 33 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. He stands No. 102 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. (Tee times: 8:30 a.m. Monday, Longue Vue Hole #9/ 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oakmont Hole #1)
U.S. AMATEUR SCHEDULE OF COMPETITION
- Aug. 9 (Monday): First round, stroke play (18 holes)
- Aug. 10 (Tuesday): Second round, stroke play (18 holes)
- Aug. 11 (Wednesday): Round of 64, match play
- Aug. 12 (Thursday): Rounds of 32 and 16, match play
- Aug. 13 (Friday): Quarterfinal round, match play
- Aug. 14 (Saturday): Semifinal round, match play
- Aug. 15 (Sunday): Championship match (36 holes)