O'Loughlin Joins Field At U.S. Amateur
BOULDER – University of Colorado senior Daniel O'Loughlin has been invited to participate in next week's 120th Annual U.S. Amateur, set for August 10-16 in Bandon, Ore.
There are usually numerous ways to qualify for the event, but with the coronavirus pandemic affecting the sports world, there were no qualifying events to do so for this year. Several had already qualified through previous tournaments and/or had earned exemptions by other means before the committee then reverted to the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), where O'Loughlin was ranked No. 294 out of over 6,600 golfers on the list.
Usually, 312 players compete annually in the U.S. Amateur, but the field size has been reduced to 264 this year. All participants will be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to competition.
At present, O'Loughlin's career stroke average of 71.71 for 98 rounds would stand as the best in school history, topping Jeremy Paul by one-one hundredth of a stroke (71.72); he plans on returning for the 2020-21 season after his original senior year was cut short due to the pandemic. He is the only player in school history with at least two seasons with sub-72.0 stroke averages, and he has recorded three: 71.54 as a sophomore (fourth-best overall), 71.90 as a junior (tied for ninth), 71.65 as a senior (fifth). In 33 career collegiate events, he has been under par 15 times and even-par in two others.
"Daniel has proven to be one of the top amateur golfers in the world over the last few years," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "The U.S. Amateur will have the strongest field in its history this year and it is no surprise that Daniel is included in it. He decided to come back early from England this year and we are glad that it is working out for him to get to the Oregon Coast next week to compete at Bandon Dunes. He has a great chance to have a great week."
O'Loughlin owns an impressive record in summer amateur play. In 2019, he won the prestigious Walton Heath Trophy, one of England's top amateur tournaments, with a 9-under par 69-69-71-70—279 scorecard (rallying from seven strokes down after three rounds). In the British Amateur, he tied for 29th in the stroke play portion (73-72—145, +1), and advanced to the round of 16. In 2017, he finished 10th in the European Amateur Championships, four strokes out of the lead, with a 67-71-71-68—277 effort, and advanced to the final 32 in the British Amateur (he tied for 23rd in the stroke play with a 3-under 70-69—139)
The event will take place at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and will utilize both of its premier 18-hole courses: Bandon Dunes (7,218 yards, par-72) and Bandon Trails (6,883 yards, par-71). The top 64 golfers out of stroke play competition Aug. 10 & 11 will advance to match play beginning on Aug. 12.
The furthest a Buffalo has advanced in recent memory was in 2015, when David Oraee finished second in the stroke play portion (67-67—134, -6) and reached the round of 16 in Olympia Fields, Ill. His gross score of 134 is still tied for the seventh-best effort in the stroke play competition of the tournament.
Easily the most prestigious amateur tournament in the nation if not the world, past champions include Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Deane Beman, Phil Mickelson, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, Jay Sigel, Mark O'Meara, Hal Sutton, Justin Leonard, Matt Kuchar, Ryan Moore and Bryson DeChambeau; because this year's field includes players into the 300s in the WAGR, Edwards indicated that this will be the best field ever in the history of the event.
Defending champion Andy Ogletree (Georgia Tech graduate) and runner-up John Augenstein (Vanderbilt senior) are among this year's competitiors.
Cherry Hills Country Club will host the U.S. Amateur for third time in 2023, last hosting in 2012; it will be the fifth time the event will be in the state of Colorado.