Lee, Giles set for US Amateur
BY Anthony Powter | US Mens Amateur Tour | 2008 US Amateur Championship | Preview | 17 Aug 2008
The 108th US Amateur starts this week at Pinehurst in North Carolina with 314 qualifiers attempting to claim one of golf’s most coveted titles.
Danny Lee and Matthew Giles represent the Australasian contingent competing after they secured medallist honours at their respective qualification sections.
Matt Giles Audio Interview
US-based Giles took the top qualification spot with an 6-under-par total at Muskegon Country Club in Michigan, whilst Lee was medallist at Piper Glen Golf Club in Springfield, Illinois.
Since arriving in the US in January, Giles has adapted well to the challenges of progressing from the junior amateur ranks where he excelled to become one of the world’s best juniors, cumulating with him winning the 2006 Callaway World Junior title. This is his first US Amateur championship, however, last year he made the top-16 in the US Junior Amateur.
Giles this season was the top Australian at Dogwood Invitational back in June finishing T12 at 10-under-par. The next week he secured a runner-up finish at the Sahalee Players Championship, finishing with five birdies over his final 9-holes to take sole possession of 2nd place and in doing so was the only player in the tournament field to shoot under-par in every round. Giles’ previous best major amateur result in the US was a T3 at the 2007 Pacific Northwest Amateur.
Lee has had the perfect warm-up for the championship with the world number one amateur finishing joint 20th on the weekend with a 12-under-par at the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship, to be nine shots off winner Carl Petterson.
Lee’s performances this summer has set him up brilliantly for his third US Amateur campaign. The 18-year-old secured his maiden major amateur title in the US with his victory at the Western Amateur last month and has gone from strength to strength since.
He was awarded the William C.Campbell Award following the Porter Cup, a prize given to the player who records the low aggregate score in the Northeast Amateur, Players Amateur and Porter Cup – all three major amateur events in the US.
The day after winning the Western Amateur, Lee was the medallist at the US Amateur Qualifier at Piper Glen Golf Club in Springfield, Illinois.
This week at Pinehurst he is considered one of the favourites for the title, along with Americans Rickie Fowler, a quarterfinalist at 2006 US Amateur, and Jamie Lovemark, who was runner-up and medallist at this year’s North & South Amateur at Pinehurst No.2.
Last year Lee was eliminated in the first round of matchplay at the US Amateur. He qualified fifth from 36 holes of strokeplay at The Olympic Club near San Francisco.
The No.2 course at Pinehurst will play at 7,281 yards and par 70. The No.4 course at Pinehurst, which will be only used for the first two days of stroke play, will play at 7,030 yards and par 70. Following 36 holes of stroke play, the low 64 players will advance to match play with 36 hole championship final scheduled for Sunday.