43 of Top 50 in WAGR Among 7,463 to Enter 118th U.S. Amateur July 2, 2018 | Liberty Corner, N.J. By Brian DePasquale, USGA

World No. 1 and 2018 U.S. Open qualifier Braden Thornberry leads an exceptionally strong field for the 118th U.S. Amateur. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

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The 118th U.S. Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif., is shaping up to be the strongest field in amateur golf.

Forty-three of the top 50 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ (WAGR), including world No. 1 and 2017 USA Walker Cup competitor Braden Thornberry, of Olive Branch, Miss., were among the 7,463 entries accepted by the USGA for the championship that will take place Aug. 13-19.

A total of 61 players are fully exempt into the championship, including 16 players who competed in last month’s U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. That list includes co-low amateurs Matt Parziale, a firefighter from Brockton, Mass., and Luis Gagne, of Costa Rica, a rising senior at Louisiana State University. Jeff Wilson, of Fairfield, Calif., added his name to the list on Sunday when he earned low-amateur honors in the 39th U.S. Senior Open Championship at The Broadmoor.

Parziale, the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, will join USGA champions Noah Goodwin (2017 U.S. Junior Amateur), Sean Knapp (2017 U.S. Senior Amateur), Stewart Hagestad (2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur) Scott Harvey (2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Mike McCoy (2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur) and Dave Ryan (2016 U.S. Senior Amateur) in the field of 312.

To be exempt via the WAGR, players had to be among the top 50 as of June 27. A second WAGR top-50 cutoff will take place on Aug. 8. The champion and runner-up of the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur also will be exempt into the field as will any amateur who completes 72 holes at the upcoming Open Championship at Carnoustie. The champions of the Canadian Amateur and European Amateur are also exempt into the field.

Besides Thornberry, No. 2 Justin Suh, of San Jose, Calif.; No. 3 Collin Morikawa, of La Cañada-Flintridge, Calif; No. 4 Viktor Hovland, of Norway; and No. 5 Matthew Jordan, of England., have entered. Thornberry and Morikawa were members of the victorious 2017 USA Walker Cup Team, as was Hagestad.

Jovan Rebula, of South Africa, the nephew of two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els, also is fully exempt by virtue of his recent victory in The Amateur Championship conducted by The R&A at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland. This year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champions Cole Hammer, of Houston, Texas, and Garrett Barber, of Stuart, Fla., also are exempt by being among the top 50 in the WAGR.

Entries were accepted from golfers in all 50 states, including 1,099 from host state California, as well as 48 other countries.

The first entrant was Brett Robinson from Tustin, Calif., and Nicholas Caruso, of Lawrence, Mass., submitted the last entry, 35 seconds before the 5 p.m. (EDT) deadline on June 27.

Pebble Beach Golf Links will be hosting its 12th USGA championship, having hosted four previous U.S. Amateurs, the last in 1999, won by David Gossett. Pebble Beach has also hosted five U.S. Opens (1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010) and will host the 119th U.S. Open in 2019. Spyglass Hill Golf Course was also the stroke-play co-host for the 1999 U.S. Amateur.

The following ticket options are available:

  • Daily -- $25
  • Weekly -- $75
  • Single day, 10-ticket book -- $125
  • Fairway One Hospitality (weekly) -- $1,500

Brian DePasquale is a manager of communications for the USGA. Email him at bdepasquale@usga.org.

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