CORVALLIS, Ore. – Incoming Oregon State men’s golfer Tyler Collier qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship by advancing through a sectional qualifying tournament at the Butte Creek Country Club in Chico, Calif., on Tuesday.
Collier shot a pair of 2-under 69’s at the qualifier to tie him for second place with two golfers through the 36 holes of stroke play. One player was eliminated after the first playoff hole and Collier eventually got the second, and final, automatic bid on the fifth playoff hole. Andrej Bevins, a rising sophomore at the University of New Mexico, won the qualifier with a 9-under 65-68--133.
The 114th U.S. Amateur Championship will be held at the Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands Course) in Johns Creek, Ga., from Monday, Aug. 11 to Sunday, Aug. 17. The event is hosted by the United States Golf Association. The U.S. Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association (USGA), 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Collier, a native of Chico, Calif., attended Pleasant Valley High School where he was a four-year letterman in golf and four-time Eastern Athletic League Most Valuable Player. In 2013 he qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur and advanced to Sectionals of the U.S. Open qualifying. Collier represented the JGANC (Junior Golf Association Northern California) at the Junior America’s Cup and Eddie Hogan Cup, and won the JGANC/NCGA Nor-Cal Players Championship. A year earlier he won the Veritas World Junior and finished fourth at the Eddie Hogan Cup.
The incoming freshman chose Oregon State because of the “great atmosphere along with the two best coaches in college golf.” Ironically, his biggest athletic thrill to date doesn’t involve golf but was “scoring 26 points and beating crosstown rival Chico High in basketball.”
The U.S. Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in this country, one day older than the U.S. Open. Except for an eight-year period, 1965-1972, when it was contested at stroke play, the Amateur has been a match-play championship.
Throughout its history, the U.S. Amateur has been the most coveted of all amateur titles. Many of the great names of modern professional golf, such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, Jerry Pate, Mark O'Meara, Hal Sutton, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, grace the Havemeyer Trophy.
It was, however, legendary amateur Robert T. Jones Jr., who first attracted national media coverage and sparked spectator attendance at the U.S. Amateur. Jones captured the championship five times (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928 and 1930). His 1930 victory was a seminal moment in golf history, as Jones won the four major American and British championships in one year and completed the Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Amateur at Merion Cricket Club in Ardmore, Pa.
Sixty-six years later, in 1996, Tiger Woods attracted similar levels of interest and enthusiasm at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore., when he won a record third straight U.S. Amateur, having registered 18 consecutive match-play victories. In 1994, Woods, at 18, had first entered the record book as the youngest U.S. Amateur champion, following his three consecutive Junior Amateur titles (1991-1993). That record has since been broken twice, first by 17-year-old Danny Lee in 2008 at Pinehurst No. 2 in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C., then in 2009, when 17-year-old Byeong-Hun An won at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., with a 7-and-5 victory over Ben Martin, of Greenwood, S.C.