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Murphy to fly the flag for Ireland at this year’s US Amateur

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Kinsale’s John Murphy will be Ireland’s lone ranger in this year’s US Amateur field after Holywood’s Tom McKibbin was forced to withdraw from the tournament.

McKibbin had admitted to us during our recent Irish Golfer Shootout that he was hoping he could make his way stateside to compete at the prestigious tournament but the 17-year old has now called a halt to his chances.

“Absolutely gutted to have to WD from the US Amateur,” he said.

“Been looking forward to being able to play the US Am since I started playing competitive golf. Unfortunately travel restrictions to America made it impossible for me to get there! Thanks however to the USGA for the opportunity.”

This year’s Byron Nelson award winner Murphy returned stateside earlier this month to resume his collegiate career with the University of Louisville and will have high hopes in Oregon.

However, with nineteen USGA champions among those players who have earned entry into the 120th staging of the event hosted by Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, competition will be fierce from August 10-16.

As previously announced, the 264-player field for the championship will be entirely made up of exempt players due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bandon Dunes course will host both stroke play and match play, while the Bandon Trails course will serve as the stroke-play co-host.

Andy Ogletree, of Little Rock, Miss., returns following his victory in the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club. Ogletree, 22, a two-time All-American at Georgia Tech and a member of last year’s winning USA Walker Cup Team, seeks to become the first player to win back-to-back Amateurs since Tiger Woods won three consecutive titles from 1994-96.

John Augenstein, who was runner-up to Ogletree last year and a member of the 2019 USA Walker Cup Team, is also in the field.

The field also features nine of the amateurs who competed in the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. This group includes Michael Thorbjornsen, who at age 17 became the second-youngest player to make the 36-hole cut since World War II and finished 79th.

The starting field will play 18 holes of stroke play on Aug. 10 and 11, one round each on Bandon Dunes and Bandon Trails, after which the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers. Six rounds of match play begin on Aug. 12 and the championship concludes with a 36-hole final on Aug. 16. The champion and runner-up will be exempt into the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course, in San Diego, California.

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