Baltusrol G.C. To Host 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship
The United States Golf Association (USGA) has announced Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield as the host site for the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
It will be the 16th USGA championship contested at Baltusrol, which will equal the second-highest number hosted by any club. The dates for the championship are July 16-21. Baltusrol’s Upper Course will be used for stroke-play qualifying and match play, while the Lower Course will be the companion stroke-play course.
“Baltusrol is part of the history of American golf and it has a rich association with the USGA,” said Daniel B. Burton, USGA vice president and Championship Committee chairman. “Tillinghast’s masterful design will test the players’ skill and help to identify a worthy champion.”
When it hosts the 2018 Junior Amateur, Baltusrol Golf Club will join The Country Club, in Brookline, Mass., and Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club in hosting 16 USGA championships. Oakmont will reach that number when the club holds the 2016 U.S. Open.
Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa., leads the way with 18 USGA championships. In addition, Baltusrol will join Atlanta Athletic Club, in Johns Creek, Ga., as the only two clubs to have hosted a U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Junior Amateur.
“The members of Baltusrol Golf Club are delighted to host the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, as it continues our long-standing commitment to amateur golf, and junior golf in particular,” said club president Joseph Tato, whose club has been recommended for designation as a National Historic Landmark.
Golf has been played over the grounds at Baltusrol since 1895, when club founder Louis Keller placed the “Old Course” on land that had been farmed by a Scottish immigrant named Baltus Roll 50 years earlier. A.W. Tillinghast designed the present-day Upper and Lower courses, which opened in 1922 as Tillinghast’s unprecedented initiative to build two courses side by side at the same time. The architect’s designs have remained intact, but have been lengthened and updated for modern play. Robert Trent Jones made renovations to the Lower Course in the 1950s, while his son, Rees Jones, renovated the Upper Course in the 1990s.
Baltusrol Golf Club has hosted seven U.S. Opens, second only to Oakmont’s nine (counting the 2016 U.S. Open). Willie Anderson, a former Baltusrol professional, claimed the second of his four Open titles by defeating David Brown in a playoff in 1903 on the original course. Amateur Jerome Travers would record a one-stroke victory in 1915 on a revised course. The U.S. Open was played on the Upper Course for the only time in 1936, when Tony Manero defeated Harry Cooper by two strokes.
Jack Nicklaus captured two of his four U.S. Opens on Baltusrol’s Lower Course, winning in 1967 and 1980. Nicklaus would go on to win 18 major professional titles. In 1954, Ed Furgol made par on the final hole to hold off Gene Littler by one stroke. Lee Janzen garnered the first of his two U.S. Open championships with a two-stroke victory over Payne Stewart in 1993.
In 1961, Mickey Wright won the first of two U.S. Women’s Opens played at Baltusrol. The four-time Women’s Open champion earned a six-stroke triumph on the Lower Course. Kathy (Baker) Guadagnino won the 1985 Women’s Open by three strokes on the Upper Course for her first professional victory.
The U.S. Amateur Championship has been held four times at Baltusrol. In 2000, Jeff Quinney defeated James Driscoll, in 39 holes, on the Upper Course to decide the 100th championship. The match tied the longest championship final ever played. H. Chandler Egan won the U.S. Amateur on the original course in 1904. George Von Elm (1926) and Stanley E. “Ted” Bishop (1946) captured their Amateur titles on the Lower Course.
Baltusrol’s first national championship, the 1901 U.S. Women’s Amateur, was won by Genevieve Hacker. After a fire destroyed the original clubhouse in 1909, the impressive English Tudor clubhouse that stands today was built. In 1911, Margaret Curtis won the second of her three Women’s Amateur championships with a 5-and-3 victory in the final.
The U.S. Junior Amateur will be the 61st USGA championship held in New Jersey. The 2014 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur will be held Sept. 13-18 at Hollywood Golf Club, in Deal, while the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur will be contested at Hidden Creek Golf Club, in Egg Harbor Township. The 2017 U.S. Women’s Open will be played at Trump National Golf Club, in Bedminster.
The U.S. Junior Amateur was first played in 1948. The championship is open to male amateurs who have not reached their 18th birthday by the conclusion of the championship and who have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 6.4. Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan and Johnny Miller are among U.S. Junior Amateur champions.
In 2014, the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship will be played July 21-26 at The Club at Carlton Woods (Nicklaus Course), in The Woodlands, Texas. The 2015 championship is scheduled for July 20-25 at Colleton River Plantation Club (Dye Course), in Bluffton, S.C. The 2016 championship will be contested July 18-23 at The Honors Course, in Ooltewah, Tenn.