By Cameron Jourdan – Golfweek (Photo: Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic)
It’s no surprise to see amateurs in the field at major championships. Yet at the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course, more than 10 percent of the field will be amateurs.
Among the 19 amateurs who will tee it up this week in Los Angeles, only three weren’t on a college golf team this spring or, in the case of Wenyi Ding, will be on campus come this fall. College golf has never been stronger, and it shows in the amount of golfers who played their way into the field.
Fred Biondi, the 2023 NCAA individual champion from Florida, was exempt into the field if he remained an amateur, but he turned professional and made his debut on the Korn Ferry Tour last week.
Additionally, Sam Bennett, the low amateur at the 2023 Masters and winner of the 2022 U.S. Amateur, is in the field but turned professional after his season ended last month at Texas A&M.
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Stanford has four amateurs who made it through qualifying and advanced into the U.S. Open field. The oldest amateur in the field is 30-year-old Matthew McClean from Northern Ireland.
Here’s a look at the amateurs in the field at the 2023 U.S. Open.
Amat, a native of France, got into the U.S. Open on June 12 as the first alternate from the Lakewood, Washington, final qualifier. He recently finished his junior season at New Mexico, where he has one career victory.
Brennan, who just wrapped up his junior season at Wake Forest, will tee it up in his first U.S. Open after shooting 3-under 139 at Woodmont Country Club’s North Course.
Wake Forest’s Michael Brennan won the Southwestern Invitational. (Photo: Wake Forest Men’s Golf)
Brown, one of the four Cardinal to qualify, shot 10-under 132 at Hillcrest Country Club to qualify for his first U.S. Open. He made the cut at the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews last July.
Barclay Brown of the Stanford Cardinal plays a tee shot on the third hole during the NCAA Men’s Golf Division I Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club at Grayhawk Golf Club on May 29, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Carr wrapped up his fifth season at Georgia Southern last month, and he’s in the field by virtue of his runner-up finish to Bennett at the 2022 U.S. Amateur last summer at The Ridgewood Country Club.
Ben Carr lines up his putt on hole 15 during the final match at the 2022 U.S. Amateur at The Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey. (Grant Halverson/USGA)
The 25-year-old from New York qualified for his first U.S. Open by shooting 6-under 136 at Canoe Brook Country Club. In local qualifying, he survived a playoff for the last spot in at White Beaches Golf & Country Club after shooting a 70.
Christian Cavaliere hits his tee shot on the 17th hole during the second round of stroke play at the 2021 U.S. Amateur at Longue Vue Club in Verona, Pa. on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (Chris Keane/USGA)
The 18-year-old Arizona State signee will play in his first U.S. Open after winning the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur at Bandon Dunes. Ding became the first golfer from China to win a USGA Championship.
Wenyi Ding hits an approach shot during the 74th U.S. Junior Amateur. (Chris Keane, USGA)
Dunlap just finished up his freshman season at Alabama and will play in his second straight U.S. Open after shooting 8-under 136 and surviving a 3-for-2 playoff in the Columbus, Ohio, final qualifier. He also won the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur at Pinehurst.
Nicholas Dunlap and the trophy after winning during the final match at the 2021 U.S. Junior at The Country Club of North in Village of Pinehurst, N.C. on Saturday, July 24, 2021. (Chris Keane/USGA)
What a busy few weeks for Fernandez de Oliveira. He finished his college career at Arkansas last month at the NCAA Championship. Last week, he was at the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Now, he’s in his first U.S. Open after winning the 2023 Latin America Amateur Championship.
Arkansas’ Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira at the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup. (Photo: Arnold Palmer Cup)
McClean, a 30-year-old optometrist, won the 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship to punch his ticket into his first U.S. Open. He also teed it up at the 2023 Masters.
Matthew McClean tees off on the fifth hole during the first round of the 2023 Masters. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Network)
This will be Moldovan’s second time teeing it up at the U.S. Open, and he got into the field as the first alternate from the Springfield, Ohio, final qualifier. Moldovan recently finished up his junior season at Ohio State, where he won the NCAA Auburn Regional last month.
Ohio State’s Maxwell Moldovan (Photo: Ohio State Athletics)
Morales, a junior at UCLA, posted 12-under 130 at Hillcrest Country Club to earn medalist honors and qualify for his first U.S. Open. The Mexico native captured the El Macero Classic on April 16 for his first collegiate victory.
Omar Morales reacts after a birdie on the 6th hole during the second round of the 2023 Mexico Open at Vidanta in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. (Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Potgeiter, 18, won the 2022 Amateur Championship in Europe, which also earned him an invitation to the 2023 Masters. Earlier this spring, he won the Sage Valley Junior Invitational by 10 shots.
Aldrich Potgieter tees off on the fifth hole during the first round of The Masters golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Network
Sargent, who recently completed his sophomore year at Vanderbilt, was named Golfweek’s 2022-23 men’s college golf Player of the Year after his stellar season. He won the 2022 NCAA individual title and shot 64-67 at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Georgia, to qualify for his first U.S. Open.
Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent at the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup (Photo: Arnold Palmer Cup)
Simmons, who will be a fifth-year senior at Liberty in the fall, earned his first start in a U.S. Open after shooting 4-under 138 at Woodmont Country Club’s North Course.
Summerhays, the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, will play in his second U.S. Open after surviving a 3-for-2 playoff at the Hillcrest Country Club final qualifier. He followed a morning 71 with an afternoon 62 to get into the playoff. Summerhays will be a junior at Arizona State this fall.
Arizona State golfer Preston Summerhays plays his third shot on the ninth hole during NCAA Championship match play quarterfinals at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale on May 30, 2023.
Thorbjornsen, who will be a senior at Stanford, qualified for his third U.S. Open by earning medalist honors at Canoe Brook Country Club with an 8-under 134 on the North and South courses. He won the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur and made the cut at the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Stanford golfer Michael Thorbjornsen plays his tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club. (Photo: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic)
Valdes, a junior at Auburn, survived both stages of qualifying to earn his first U.S. Open start. He posted 3-under 137 at Pinetree Golf Club in final qualifying, and he also won the Isleworth Collegiate representing the Tigers this season.
Auburn’s Brendan Valdes. (photo: Auburn Athletics)
Oh, look, another Stanford player. Vilips, 21, shared medalist honors at Woodmont Country Club’s North Course at 4-under 138 and will make his first U.S. Open start.
Karl Vilips of Stanford plays his second shot on the 15th hole during the 2023 NCAA Men’s Golf Division I Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Yang, the fourth member of the Stanford men’s golf team to qualify, will make his U.S. Open debut after sharing medalist honors in a final qualifier at Tacoma Country and Golf Club at 3-under 139. He advanced out of a local qualifier at Oswego Lake Country Club with a 70.
Stanford’s Alexander Yang. (Photo: Stanford Athletics)