Inaugural Events Scheduled for 2015, Marking First National Championships To Be Added to USGA Competition Roster in More Than 25 Years
Far Hills, N.J. (Feb. 11, 2013) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced the introduction of two new championships, the first national championships to be added to the USGA’s competition roster in more than 25 years. The addition of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, which will be played annually between mid-March and late May with the inaugural events scheduled for 2015, reflects the Association’s continued commitment to supporting and growing amateur competition well into the future.
The last time the USGA added a national championship for individual golfers was in 1987 with the creation of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the creation of national four-ball championships, given the popularity and enjoyment of this competitive format at the amateur level,” said USGA Vice President and Championship Committee Chairman Thomas J. O’Toole Jr. “Because the four-ball format lends itself to spirited team competition and aggressive risk-reward shotmaking, we are confident these championships will deliver exciting amateur golf to the national stage for both players and spectators alike.”
Eligibility for both national four-ball championships will be limited to amateurs, with no age restrictions. Team partners will not be required to be from the same club, state or country, and substitution of partners will be permitted until the close of entries. Entry is limited to individuals with a USGA Handicap Index® not to exceed 5.4 for men and 14.4 for women.
The USGA’s national amateur four-ball championships will begin with sectional qualifying at dozens of sites across the nation. The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will consist of 128 and 64 two-player teams respectively, each playing their own ball throughout the round. Each team’s score will be determined using their better-ball score for each hole. After 36 holes of stroke-play competition, the field will be reduced to the low 32 teams for the match-play portion of the championship.
Four-ball has become a widely popular format for State and Regional Golf Associations across the United States. In 2012, more than 150 championships, either strictly four-ball or as part of a competition format, were conducted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“We appreciate the support and energy that the USGA is bringing to these new four-ball national championships,” said Jim Demick, executive director of the Florida State Golf Association, who served on the advisory group of State and Regional Golf Association executives and tournament directors consulted by the USGA. “Along with my fellow associations around the country, we look forward to showcasing this unique brand of team competition through what promise to be first-class events.”