WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. – Williams College senior Sam Goldenring (Florham Park, N.J.) fresh off a stellar junior campaign this past year that saw him earn First Team All-America honors and win the 2019 NCAA DIII Individual Title in Nicholasville, Kentucky, qualified for the U.S. Amateur Golf Championships for the second year in a row.
Goldenring topped the NCAA DIII field of 216 players when he shot three under (285) over four rounds and became the first Eph men's player to win the NCAA DIII title. Additionally, he became just the second Eph men's player to earn All-America honors twice.
This year's U.S. Amateur Championship is being played at The Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C., where Courses No. 2 and No. 4 within the nine-course layout will be used for tournament play. The Championship will run from Monday, August 12 through Saturday, August 18.
Last August Goldenring and his classmate and teammate Will Kannegieser both qualified for the 2018 U.S. Amateur played in Pebble Beach, Calif., on the famed Pebble Beach layout and at Spyglass Hill. Goldenring finished seven over par after four rounds and missed advancing to the match play portion of the tournament by two shots. He finished 128th in a field of 312 golfers from around the word.
A year ago, Goldenring punched his ticket to the U.S. Amateur on the Ephs' home course The Taconic Golf Club, but this summer he qualified closer to his home playing at The Hackensack Golf Club in Emerson, N.J. "I loved the course from the moment I saw it on my practice round and it really suited my game...not quite as well as Taconic, but it did the job," stated Goldenring.
Displaying his usual consistency Goldenring shot a three-under par 69 during the morning round of 18 holes and then duplicated that effort in the afternoon and his six-under score left him one shot shy of medalist honors.
In his first appearance at the U.S. Amateur last year Sam Goldenring had the benefit of having his older brother Jake who also had a solid golf career at Williams as his caddy, but that will not be the case this year.
Jake was not available to be on Sam's bag for the qualifying rounds and also will not be able to caddy at the U.S. Amateur. "Jake just started his third year of medical school at the University of Pennsylvania after being on break the last two weeks, so he obviously couldn't duck out of the hospital for a day," said Sam. "He's currently in the middle of his emergency medicine rotation in the hospital, so we decided I could get the job done without him by my side and he could focus on helping save lives. It seemed like a fair deal to me."
Asked about playing this year at Pinehurst, Goldenring commented, "The No. 2 course in particular has hosted many U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs in its history. Over spring break my sophomore year, the team and I had the privilege to play No. 2 and it was one of the most challenging, yet most enjoyable courses I've ever played. The No. 4 course was just redesigned, so we didn't have a chance to play it when we were down there, but I've seen some pictures of the finished product and it looks amazing. I can't wait to get down there in August and compete on these legendary courses."
Along for his first run in the U.S. Amateur last August was Taconic Golf Club pro and Eph men's golf head coach Josh Hillman. It is unclear at this moment if Hillman will be able to attend this U.S. Amateur.
"If Josh is able to come it'll be great to have him out there because we really work well together," Goldenring said. "Like we did at the NCAAs, we figure out a game plan in the practice rounds and stick to it during the tournament rounds. He has come to know both my physical golf game and my mental game really well over the years, so it would be great to have someone who knows my game so well during one of the biggest amateur events in the world. If he can't make the trip this year, he's taught me a lot over my time at Williams and I will put what he has taught me to great use."
"Playing in the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach last year was honestly the best thing that has happened to me and my golf game," stated Goldenring. "Even though I missed the match play cut by two shots, I finally proved to myself that I belong with the best players in the country and that was so much more important than any score I could've shot. Without that newfound confidence in myself and my game, I honestly do not believe I would've had the collegiate year that I had and I would've thought winning NCAAs was a long shot to say the least. Fueled with the belief in myself alongside the overwhelming support I've always had from my friends, family, teammates, and the entire Williams community, I can't wait to get down to Pinehurst and give it all I have to make the cut this year."