Not that anyone asked but I’m positively thrilled with the decision by the USGA to change the championship roster beginning in 2015. The US Amateur Public Links has been around for a long time but, at this point, it’s basically the same competition as the US Amateur. Sure, some tour greats have won it, including one of the hottest players on tour, Brandt Snedecker (2003), but that doesn’t mean that we need to keep it around like it’s luggage handed down from our grandparents. Sometimes, it’s time for an upgrade; something a little more snazzy.
That’s why I’m thrilled with the announcement. For those of you who are just as confused by the term fourball as I am:
- two teams of two players
- each golfer plays his own ball through the round
- A team’s number of strokes for a given hole is the lowest individual number of strokes of that team’s players on that hole.
- Stroke play (the first 36 holes of the tourney): scores are added normally and the 32 teams with the lowest scores move to match play where
- each hole is won by the team whose member has the lowest score on that hole, and that team is awarded a point for the hole. If the teams tie for a hole, the point for the hole is divided between the teams. At the end of the match, the team with the most points wins.
Further excitement: for men, the handicap limit is 5.4; for women, it’s 14.4. This opens the tournament up to an enormous number of people. What’s more, the team members don’t have to belong to the same club, live in the same state or country, and they can be substituted up until entries are closed.
Put all together, it means that I will likely get to qualify to play in a USGA tournament with my best friend and favorite golfing buddy.
Yesterday’s ruling was the most exciting ruling of the year. Yeah, that’s right anchored putting style, I’m including you here.