Six golfers with ties to Stanford and another former local prep standout have a lot of ground to make up following the opening round of the 110th U.S. Amateur Championships, which got underway Monday at Chambers Bay and the Home Course in University Place, Wash.
Incoming freshman Cameron Wilson was the best of the Cardinal contingent after shooting an even-par 72 on the 7,420-yard Home Course, one of two courses being used for the championship. That, however, left him tied for 24th and 10 strokes behind leader Jeff Wilson, whose 62 on the Home Course was the second-lowest score in the tournament's history in addition to being a course record.
Stanford product Joseph Bramlett shot a 1-over 72 at the par-71 Chambers Bay course while current Cardinal players David Chung and Kihwan Kim both were tied for 123rd after 4-over rounds. Chung shot 75 at Chambers Bay while Kim shot 76 on the Home Course.
Stanford's Steve Ziegler shot 78 at Chambers Bay while Cardinal grad George Downing struggled to an 85, also at Chambers Bay.
Former Priory standout Sam Chavez shot a 1-over 73 at the Home Course and remains in contention, along with Wilson and Bramlett (among others). Chavez had four birdies but also five bogeys.
Eighteen more holes of stroke play are scheduled for Tuesday, after which the field of 312 will be cut to the low 64 scorers. Six rounds of match play begin on Wednesday and the championship concludes with a 36-hole final match on Sunday.
Chung is one of the hottest players in the field, with victories earlier this summer at the Porter Cup and Western Amateur. The Stanford junior also helped lead the United States to a 13-11 victory over Europe at the 2010 Palmer Cup at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
Ziegler advanced to the quarterfinals in last year's event at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
Chambers Bay is set up at 7,742 yards and will play to a par of 36-35-71. The second stroke play course, The Home Course, will be set up at 7,420 yards and will play to a par of 36-36-72.
Chambers Bay is the longest course in USGA history. At 7,742 yards, it overtakes the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, which measured 7,643 yards for the 2008 U.S. Open and 2006 U.S. Amateur host Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., which measured 7,473 yards.
The Golf Channel will provide coverage beginning on Wednesday.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in this country, one day older than the U.S. Open. Except for an eight-year period, 1965-1972, when it was stroke play, the Amateur has been a match-play championship.
Throughout its history, the U.S. Amateur has been the most coveted of all amateur titles. Many of the great names of professional golf, such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, Jerry Pate, Mark O'Meara, Hal Sutton, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, grace the Havemeyer Trophy.