Many of the world’s top amateur golfers — including a few with local ties — are back at Berkeley Hall this week for the 19th annual Players Amateur.
A field of 80 players from around the globe will tee it up on Berkeley Hall’s North Course beginning at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, and when the final putt drops Sunday afternoon, the champion will walk away with an exemption into next spring’s RBC Heritage presented by Boeing.
Defending champion Philip Knowles is back in the field, as the North Florida standout looks to become the first repeat champion in the event’s history.
Knowles added his name to a prestigious list of winners when he defeated Bluffton native and Clemson star Bryson Nimmer in a playoff. Past champions have included the likes of Ben Curtis, Bill Haas, Camilo Villegas, Brian Harman, Rickie Fowler, and Bud Cauley, among others.
Nimmer is a member of an equally impressive list — Players Amateur alums who haven’t won the tournament — which includes Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed, but he hopes to graduate to the more exclusive group this weekend.
Some of the other local players in the field include Hilton Head’s Andrew Orischak (Virginia) and Will Miles (South Carolina), Bluffton’s Brandon McBride (Charleston Southern) and Alec Weary (High Point), Hilton Head Christian Academy alum Trace Crowe (Auburn), and former USCB golfer and reigning Hilton Head Amateur champion Jonathan Sundstrom.
The event is open to the public.