GRAD QUALIFIES FOR U.S. AMATEUR GOLF TOURNEY : CALU

GRAD QUALIFIES FOR U.S. AMATEUR GOLF TOURNEY

Portrait of Brett Young.

The ink was barely dry on his diploma when Brett Young, a 2017 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, qualified to compete in the 117th U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, to be held Aug. 14-20 near Los Angeles. 

Young, a Bethel Park resident, earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management in May. Two months later, he was one of more than 7,100 golfers seeking to qualify for the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Golf Association’s oldest championship tournament. 

First played in 1895, the championship is open to amateur golfers with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4. Past champions include Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. 

Young made the 312-player U.S. Amateur field by tying for first place at a sectional qualifier July 18 at Grove City (Pa.) Country Club. The 36-hole qualifier was one of 100 held across the United States and internationally. 

Playing in a field of more than 70 golfers, Young tied for first place by shooting a 7-under-par 137. It was his third time competing at the qualifier. 

“I just hit my shots, took advantage of the holes where I knew I could be aggressive for birdies, and just played smart,” says Young, a member of Nemacolin Country Club, in Beallsville, Pa. 

“I have never been to (the state of) California,” he says. “Honestly, this has not set in fully for me. I’m not sure it will until I’m there and out on the course. When you think of all the great golfers that have played there … I’m looking forward to the experience more than anything.” 

Young never played for his alma mater’s NCAA Division II golf team. Instead, he was an assistant captain and two-year forward with the Cal U 1 men’s hockey club. This spring he completed an internship working with youth hockey players at the Island Sport Center, in Neville Island, Pa. 

“I’ve always loved playing both sports,” he says. “Right now I’m focusing on practicing and playing golf, which is paying off.” 

Young has his sights set on “making the cut” and playing with the final group of 64 at the USGA event. “I will need to play my best,” he says. “We’ll see what happens.” 

Co-hosts for the first two rounds of stroke play for the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship are the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. All subsequent match-play rounds will be contested at the Riviera.