US Junior Amateur Is In Michigan This Week

The US Junior Amateur is in Michigan this week, at the Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada.

For the first time in its history, the USGA is bringing a national championship to western Michigan. Starting today and continuing through Saturday, Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada, Mich., is hosting the 63rd U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

Jordan Spieth, the 2009 champion, will attempt to defend the title that he captured at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., at age 15. Spieth, who tied for 16th place in the PGA Tour’s HP Byron Nelson Championship in May playing under an amateur exemption, will attempt to become only the second player to win back-to-back Junior Amateur Championships. Tiger Woods took home the title three straight times, from 1991 to 1993.

The championship is open to the public free of charge. It will feature 156 golfers competing in two days of stroke-play qualifying on Monday and Tuesday, followed by six rounds of match play to determine a champion. The 36-hole championship match is scheduled for Saturday, July 24.

Other past winners of the championship include such accomplished players as Gay Brewer, Johnny Miller, Gary Koch, David Duval and Hunter Mahan. The Junior Amateur has another distinction: It is the only USGA championship for which Jack Nicklaus has been eligible that he did not win at least once. Nicklaus qualified for the championship five times; his best finish came in 1956, when he was a semifinalist.

This is the first USGA championship conducted at Egypt Valley, which was designed by Arthur Hills and opened in 1990. Egypt Valley hosted a Champions Tour event between 1994 and 2004. This is the fourth U.S. Junior Amateur to be held in Michigan, including the inaugural championship in 1948 at the University of Michigan Golf Club in Ann Arbor. The last Junior Amateur conducted in the state was in 1980 at Pine Lake C.C. in Orchard Lake, won by Eric Johnson.

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