Five Sooners, three Cowboys in pursuit of U.S. Amateur Championship

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Five Oklahoma men’s golfers and three Oklahoma State golfers open play Monday at the 123rd United States Amateur Championship this week as all are in pursuit of the crown jewel of amateur golf — the Havemeyer Trophy.

For Oklahoma, Drew Goodman and Ben Lorenz earned exemptions via their placements World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). Stephen Campbell Jr., Luke Kluver and incoming freshman Ryder Cowan all qualified for the event through local qualifiers.

Representing Oklahoma State are Leo Oyo and incoming freshman Preston Stout as well as senior Jonas Baumgartner, currenly No. 10 in the PGA Tour University rankings.

Luke Morgan of Guthrie, who plays for Baylor, also qualified.

The championship, slated for Aug. 14-20 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills, Colo., pits 312 of the world’s best amateur golfers against each other to determine who will take home the coveted Havemeyer Trophy. Golfers will play 36 holes of stroke play over two days before the field is cut to the top 64 players, who then compete in match play over the next five days to determine the champion. The Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., will play host to a stroke play round for each golfer.

The five Oklahoma golfers participating in the 2023 event tie for the second-most that the program has sent to a single U.S. Amateur, trailing only the 2020 tournament (six). OU also sent five golfers in 2018.

Goodman, a rising junior at Oklahoma, received an exemption into the event as the world’s No. 32 ranked amateur by WAGR. The Norman, Okla., product repeated as an All-American last season and was an All-Big 12 selection after posting a season-scoring average of 70.05 (-0.97), which ranked inside Oklahoma’s all-time top 10. He recently advanced to the semifinals of the Western Amateur, one of the premier amateur events annually, as he finished 16th in the Elite Amateur Golf Series standings.

Lorenz will make his second U.S. Amateur appearance in a row and is no stranger to USGA events after playing in the 2022 U.S. Open. An All-American in 2023 for the Sooners, Lorenz will be a senior in the upcoming campaign and is ranked No. 5 in the initial PGA Tour University ranking. He earned an exemption into the U.S. Amateur as the No. 33 ranked golfer in WAGR. He missed the match-play cut at the 2022 U.S. Amateur by three strokes.

Campbell Jr., a Richmond, Texas product, will make his second U.S. Amateur (2021) appearance after finishing third at the Magnolia Creek GC (Texas) qualifier. The rising redshirt junior golfer didn’t miss a start last year for the Sooners, playing in all 12 tournaments in which OU appeared. He notched a season-best finish of T4 at the Men’s N.I.T. and went 4-0-1 in match play events.

Kluver, who recently played in the Pinnacle Bank Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour near his hometown of Norfolk, Neb., won his qualifier at Wild Horse Golf Club to earn his spot at Cherry Hills. The redshirt senior, who transferred to Oklahoma before last season from Kansas, fired 66-70 for a 36-hole score of 8-under 136 to claim his spot in the U.S. Amateur.

Cowan, a freshman at Oklahoma in the fall, will use his debut appearance at the U.S. Amateur to wrap up one of the best summers an Oklahoma amateur has ever pieced together. The Edmond, Okla., product won the Oklahoma 4A High School state championship, the Oklahoma State Junior Championship and finished as the runner-up at the OGA Match Play Championship. Cowan finished second at Rose Creek Golf Club to earn his spot in the 2023 Amateur.

Cherry Hills previously served as the host for the 1938, 1960 and 1978 U.S. Opens, the 1985 PGA Championship, and the 1990 and 2012 U.S. Amateurs. The winner of the tournament earns an exemption into the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, the 2024 Open Championship at Royal Troon and an invitation to the 2024 Masters Tournament.

Peacock and the Golf Channel will share coverage for the first three days of match play, with Golf Channel and NBC piloting coverage of the semifinals and 36-hole championship match.

The University of Oklahoma’s golf facility’s namesake, Charlie Coe, was a two-time U.S. Amateur winner and appeared in 19 Masters Tournaments and is widely considered the best amateur golfer in Masters history.

Labron Harris Jr., son of Oklahoma State coach Labron Harris Sr., won the event in 1962 and Scott Verplank won in 1984 at Oak Tree Golf Club. OSU’s Peter Uihlein won in 2010 and Viktor Hovland was the latest in 2018 at Pebble Beach.

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source