Players and their families toured the nuclear-powered
USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier last week.
BREMERTON, WASHINGTON | Sixteen-
year-old Beau Hossler, of Mission Viejo,
Calif., followed up his first-round 68
with a 5-under 67 in the second round
of stroke-play qualifying at the Olympic
Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club. The
in last month’s U.S.
Open at Congres-
sional Country Club
in Bethesda, Md., but
this was his first U.S. Junior Amateur. He
admitted to being somewhat of a novice
when it comes to match play – he has
only played in one match-play event and
lost in the first round. Hossler advanced
to the quarterfinals before falling, 2 and
1, to Adam Ball, of Richmond, Va.
of Keene, N.H., a 2-up victory over the
15-year-old Liu, of Smithtown, N. Y. On
No. 17, Barrett hit a 7-iron from 165
yards to six feet and made the birdie putt
to take the lead. Needing to win No. 18
to extend the match, Liu opted to drive
the par- 4 hole with his 3-wood. But his
tee shot found the hazard right of the
hole. When Liu was unable to get up and
down from the hazard, he conceded Barrett’s birdie putt and the match.
U.S. Navy aircraft carrier that can hold
up to 85 aircraft and takes up four-and-a-half acres of space. Prior to the dinner, the players visited the flight deck,
hangar, bridge and other non-sensitive
areas. Due to security reasons, some
areas of the ship were off-limits.
The dinner aboard the Stennis was the
culmination of 18 months of planning between the city of Bremerton and the U.S.
Navy. Just to get permission to hold the
festivities, clearances had to be made at
the highest levels. But Scott Alexander,
the director of golf at Gold Mountain, and
other members of the Junior Amateur
host committee felt having the players’
dinner on the Naval base was the right
way to showcase the community.
The evening ended with guest
speaker Johnny Miller, who along with
Tiger Woods is one of two players to
win the U.S. Junior Amateur (1964) and
U.S. Open (1973). Miller explained how
his two USGA victories were pivotal
moments to his Hall of Fame career. He
drew laughs when recounting stories
about Lee Trevino and he choked up
when recalling how much his father
had played a role in his development,
both on and off the course. He ended
his speech by paying a tribute to the
men and women of the Stennis.
There were 128 players in the field
who were competing in their first U.S.
Junior Amateur and 124 players competing in their first USGA championship.
There were players from 43 states in the
championship (all but Alaska, Delaware,
Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico
and Rhode Island). There were five foreign countries represented – Australia,
Canada, Colombia, Mexico and Korea.
Jim Liu’s hopes of becoming the
second repeat U.S. Junior Amateur
champion in history were dashed by
Chelso Barrett in the second round of
match play. Back-to-back birdies on the
17th and 18th holes gave Barrett, 16,
Connor Klein, of Long Tree, Colo.,
recorded a one-net-two in the first round.
Klein aced the 170-yard, par- 3 fifth hole,
but it eventually was scored as a birdie.
Klein’s threesome, which included Alex
Church, of Timonium, Md., and Andrew
Bonner, of Ripon, Calif., was warned for
slow play. The players were clocked again
at the fifth hole and they were all penalized one shot. The threesome appealed to
USGA officials, and Klein turned out to be
the only player penalized.
Approximately 110 competitors and
600 people in total took advantage of the
opportunity to tour the nuclear-powered
USS John C. Stennis, the 20-story high
Sixteen-year-old Nicolas Echavarria
made quite a splash at the U.S. Junior
Amateur last week. He advanced to
the semifinals before falling to Barrett.
While most Colombians tend to trend
toward soccer, the Echavarria clan all
migrated to golf.
Andres, the oldest of the three brothers at 23, was an All-American at the
University of Florida, where in his senior
season in 2010-11 he claimed the Gator
Invitational and the Southeastern Conference Championship, both in playoffs.
Miguel, 20, is studying engineering
and plays on the men’s golf team at the
University of Michigan, where he will be
a junior this fall. And prior to his arrival
at Gold Mountain, Nicolas tied for third
in the 15-17 age division at the Callaway
Junior Worlds held at Torrey Pines in
San Diego. Nicolas also won the South
American Championship two years ago
and was runner-up in the Colombian
Junior this year. l