PINEHURST, N.C. — Eph senior Sam Goldenring, who won the Div. III individual national championship in May, opened play in the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship Monday, carding a 16-over 86 on Course No. 2 at the The Pinehurst Golf Resort.
Day 2 of the 119th U.S. Amateur Championship will be Tuesday, with Goldenring taking on Course No. 4 at Pinehurst. It is the second consecutive year Goldenring qualified for the U.S. Amateur. In 2018, the Florham Park, N.J. native missed moving on the match play by only two strokes.
"Tomorrow is a new day," Goldenring said. "I'll do my best to stay positive and post a solid number and hopefully re-find some of that confidence that was lost today before heading back to Williams for my senior year."
After shooting a 10-over 45 on the opening nine holes, Goldenring's game rebounded on the back nine Monday. He managed par on six of the nine holes on the back and finished the day with seven pars and one birdie. The birdie came on the 384-yard third hole, a par-4 which Goldenring was able to handle in three shots. His lone par on the front nine came at the 588-yard Par-5, the second longest (in yards) hole on the Course No. 2.
"It was honestly pretty embarrassing to play that poorly at such a big event, especially when I was feeling good about my game heading into the week," Goldenring said. "The course was ridiculously difficult and it penalized any shot that was less than perfect. Sadly, those perfect shots were few and far between for me so I was penalized most of the day."
The field of 312 international players will play 36 holes of stroke play before the tournament format switches to match play for the final rounds with 128 players qualifying for the match play format. This year's championship features 11 former U.S. Amateur champions and there are sixty-one international golfers representing 27 countries are in the field. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia are also represented and California leads with 44 entrants.
Goldenring is the first Eph to win the NCAA men's individual title and only the second Eph men's golfer to earn All-America honors twice in his career.