Aug. 17, 2008
Clemson, SC – Four current Clemson golfers, including All-American Kyle Stanley will compete at the United States Amateur August 18-24 at Pinehurst, NC. The event begins Monday when 312 golfers begin medal play on Pinehurst numbers-two and four. Both are par 70 courses.
After the two days of medal play the top 64 golfers will go into the match play format that will determine the champion. The 36-hole match play final will be on Sunday. All the match play will be held on Pinehurst #2.
This is the second straight year four Clemson golfers have reached the United States Amateur. Last year, Stanley, Saunders, Mollica and Tanner Ervin all played in the event. Stanley was the only golfer to reach match play as he lost in the round of 32 to David McDaniel of Tucson, AZ, 1 up.
The four Clemson golfers in the field include senior Kyle Stanley and Sam Saunders and incoming freshman Jacob Burger. Stanley qualified for the tournament by virtue of his selection to the 2007 United States Walker Cup team. The other three Clemson golfers won sectional qualifying tournaments. Saunders won his event in Florida by 14 shots, while Burger won a qualifier in Hilton Head, SC.
Stanley is ranked fourth in the Golfweek World Amateur rankings, third among United States golfers. The native of Gig Harbor, WA has had a strong summer that has included a tie for fifth at the North-South Amateur on the same Pinehurst #2 course. He won the Southern Amateur on July 19 and also qualified for the United States Open where he missed the 36-hole cut by one shot. Last year, Stanley reached the final 32 in the match play of the United States Amateur at Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Mollica won the 2007 North-South Amateur at Pinehurst #2 so he has experience on the site of this year’s United States Amateur. The native of Anderson, SC won the Monroe Amateur on June 14 and finished fourth at the Sunnehanna Amateur in Pennsylvania on June 8. Mollica is ranked 97th in the World Amateur Rankings, 40th among United States golfers
Saunders is playing in his third United States Amateur. He has four top 15 finishes in major amateur events this summer, including a sixth-place at the Cardinal Amateur in Greensboro in his last outing and an eighth-place at the Players Amateur in Bluffton, SC in July. Saunders is ranked 119th in the World Amateur Rankings, 50th among United States Golfers. He is the only one of the four Clemson golfers who doesn’t have any tournament experience at Pinehurst.
Burger finished tied for 17th at the North-South Amateur at Pinehurst #2 in July. He won his US Amateur qualifier by six shots at Colleton River Plantation when he shot a 136 for 36 holes. He then finished fifth at the South Carolina Amateur two weeks ago, the best finish among Clemson golfers.
Chris Patton is the only Clemson golfer to win the United States Amateur. He won the event at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA in 1989. Parker Moore was a finalist in 1976 and Danny Ellis was a finalist in 1993. The last Clemson golfer to get to the Final 16 was Gregg Jones in 2003. Ellis is the last Clemson golfer to reach the Final 8 and Final 4.
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