U.S. Junior Amateur tournament coming to Honors Course in Ooltewah

U.S. Junior Amateur tournament coming to Honors Course in Ooltewah

August 13th, 2013 by David Uchiyama in Sports - Golf

The USGA is returning to The Honors Course.

The 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur tournament will be held at the course in Ooltewah on July 18-23 of that year.

"We like to hold USGA championships, and we look at those that we can handle," club president Joel Richardson said. "Henrik [Simonsen, the head professional] made the inquiry as to what's available, they were looking for a site in 2016, and we sent the invitation."

It will be the fifth USGA championship conducted at the Honors, following the 1991 U.S. Amateur, the 1994 Curtis Cup, the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur and the 2011 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur. It was also the site of the 1996 and 2010 NCAA men's national championship tournaments.

"The USGA is delighted to continue its long relationship with The Honors Course with the 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur, particularly considering its founding vision to uphold and celebrate the values and integrity of amateur golf," Thomas J. O'Toole Jr., USGA vice president and chairman of the Championship Committee, said in a release.

The course is currently going through the process of switching from bentgrass to Bermuda greens. Officials made the change in order to hold more USGA and elite amateur competitions during the summer without worrying about the health of the greens.

"It was huge to get new greens," Richardson said. "The Bermuda has reached a point where it's equally good as bent, and for us to hold amateur events during the summer, it made an awful lot of sense."

Dean Lind won the first U.S. Junior Amateur in 1948. Other past champions include Tennessee Golf Hall of Famer Mason Rudolph (1950), Johnny Miller ('64), Gary Koch ('70), Charlie Rymer ('85), David Duval ('89), Tiger Woods ('91-'93) and Jordan Speith (2009 and '11).

"Getting a fifth USGA championship shows the club's commitment to amateur golf, and as a member of the Honors, I'm thrilled the USGA thinks so highly of the club," Rymer said. "As the '85 champion, it's a real thrill to have that championship at my home course.

"Chattanooga has a thriving and vibrant golf community, and this is just one more thing to be proud of."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.