San Diego, California - The San Diego State men’s golf team will have three players compete in the U.S. Amateur Championship, scheduled for August 11-17, at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Georgia.
Senior Xander Schauffele (San Diego, California) earned a personal exemption by virtue of his top-50 placement in the World Amateur Golf rankings, while junior Michael Koeneke (San Diego, California) and sophomore Gunn Yang (Pyeong Chang, South Korea) won their respective sectional qualifiers on July 21.
Schauffele finds himself at No. 15 in the latest World Amateur Golf rankings released Aug. 3. The Scripps Ranch High alumnus is coming off a runner-up performance at the Western Amateur Championship in Chicago, Illinois, where he was defeated by Texas sophomore Beau Hossler, 2-up, in the finals of match-play competition on Aug. 2. Earlier this summer, Schauffele captured the California State Amateur after knocking off Hossler by an identical 2-up tally at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad on June 21.
Schauffele was a PING All-West Region honoree for SDSU during the 2013-14 campaign after leading the squad with a 71.61 stroke average and eight top-10 finishes. He also garnered All-Mountain West accolades for the second year in a row and was named the league’s golfer of the week on three occasions. At the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic, Schauffele registered his first victory as an Aztec with a two-shot win over USC’s Rico Hoey.
A Torrey Pines High graduate, Koeneke secured his spot in the U.S. Amateur after posting a collective 143 at San Diego Country Club to share medalist honors with California incoming freshman Ben Doyle. Koeneke, who sat out as a redshirt during the 2012-13 campaign after transferring from Hawai’i, played in three tournaments as an Aztec last spring. His highest finish featured a third-place effort at the Western Illinois Invitational, held at Carlton Oaks Country Club in Santee.
Meanwhile, Yang punched his ticket to the U.S. Amateur after posting a two-round total of 140 to win his sectional qualifier by four strokes over Cal State Fullerton sophomore Kyle De Silva at Hacienda Country Club in La Habra Heights. Yang, who also attended Torrey Pines High, has appeared in four varsity tournaments for SDSU over the past two years, highlighted by an eighth-place tie as an unattached competitor at the aforementioned San Diego Classic on March 11.
The 2014 U.S. Amateur will be contested on the 7,409-yard, par-71 Highlands Course and the 7,391-yard, par-72 Riverside Course at the Atlanta Athletic Club, where 22 countries will be represented at the week-long tournament. This year marks the 114th installment of the U.S. Amateur, making it the oldest golf championship in the nation, one day older than the U.S. Open. Other than an eight-year period from 1965-1972, when it was contested at stroke play, the Amateur has been a match-play championship.
This year’s field includes 312 golfers competing in 36 holes of stroke play over the first two days. After the second round, the low 64 scorers advance to match play on the Highlands Course. On Sunday, Aug. 17, the remaining two golfers will compete in 36 holes of match play to determine this year's U.S. Amateur champion.
Opened in 1964 along with the Riverside Course, the recently renovated Highlands Course served as host for the 1976 U.S. Open, won by Jerry Pate; the 1981 PGA Championship, won by Larry Nelson; the 2001 PGA Championship, won by David Toms; and the 2011 PGA Championship, won by Keegan Bradley in a playoff over Jason Dufner.
San Diego State, under 12th-year head coach Ryan Donovan, returns eight letterwinners from last year's squad that received a school-record 16th consecutive NCAA regional bid.