Alabama's Bobby Wyatt will lead a field of 84 golfers in their quest for the 2013 Players Amateur crown July 8-14 when the tournament comes to Bluffton's Berkeley Hall Golf Club.
The winner earns an exemption into the 2014 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links and joins a list of former winners that includes the likes of Ben Curtis, Bill Haas, Brian Harman, Rickie Fowler, Camilo Villegas, Beaufort's Mark Anderson and Clemson's Corbin Mills, the 2012 U.S. Public Links champion.
The 20-year-old Wyatt, who finished a stroke behind 2012 champion Daniel Nisbet, burst onto the scene with a 57 in the 2010 Alabama Boys State Championship. A rising senior and first-team All-American at Alabama, he helped lead the Crimson Tide to the 2013 NCAA championship.
Wyatt is ranked third in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and was a member of the 2013 Palmer Cup team that beat Europe.
Never miss a local story.
South Carolina's state universities are well represented in this year's field.
The University of South Carolina contingent is led by Matthew NeSmith, the 2011 Junior Heritage champion. NeSmith, a rising sophomore, is ranked No. 29 and was the 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year.
Other South Carolina golfers in the tournament are rising junior Sean Kelly, incoming freshman Ben Dietrich -- a Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy graduate and Bluffton resident -- and former Gamecock Dykes Harbin, a first-team All-SEC golfer and the Southeastern Amateur champ in 2012.
There are five golfers with Clemson ties in the field -- rising sophomore Cody Proveaux, rising junior Billy Kennerly, rising junior Stephen Behr Jr., rising senior Thomas Bradshaw and incoming freshman Austin Langdale.
There are also golfers with Beaufort County ties. They include Bluffton resident and Berkeley Hall member Michael Balzer, former USC Beaufort golfer Travis Cashion, Beaufort resident Rob Simmons, Hilton Head Island High School teacher Todd White and Hilton Head Prep graduate and incoming Wake Forest freshman Woody Woodward.
Former Hank Haney IJGA golfers Mickey and Richy Werenski are in the field, as well.
And there are two golfers with recent U.S. Open experience.
Grayson Murray played in 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, missing the cut at 83-81--164, while Andy Zhang was the youngest golfer to play in a U.S. Open when he missed the cut at San Francisco's Olympic Club in 2012 at age 14.
The tentative field:
Anders Albertson, Sam An, Viraat Badhwar, Michael Balzer, Alan Barnhardt, Evan Beck, Stephen Behr Jr., Sean Bosdosh, Thomas Bradshaw, Travis Cashion, Ricardo Celia, Wyndham Clark, AJ Crouch, Sean Dale, Ben Dietrich, Brett Drewitt, Tyler Dunlap, Ben Fogler, James Gibellini, Nick Gilliam, Oliver Goss, Gavin Hall, Matt Hansen, Dykes Harbin, Lucas Herbert, Zachary Herr, Michael Hines, Nathan Holman, Maclain Huge, Carson Jacobs, Jordan Janico, Zack Jaworski, Sean Kelly, Billy Kennerly, Chase Koepka, Tae Koh, Richard Lamb, Austin Langdale, Zander Lombard, Tom Lovelady, Kevin Marsh, Ryan McCormick, Lee McCoy, Michael Miller, Keith Mitchell, Jake Mondy, Michael Muehr, Trey Mullinax, Grayson Murray, Matthew NeSmith, Zachary Olsen, Callan O'Reilly, Gregor Orlando, Brinson Paolini, Anthony Paolucci, Ji Soo Park, Compton Pikari, Cody Proveaux, Nicholas Reach, Seth Reeves, Oliver Schniederjans, Nick Sherwood, Rob Simmons, Todd Sinnott, Michael Stamberger, Hunter Stewart, Julian Suri, Benjamin Taylor, Curtis Thompson, Will Voetsch, John Voetsch, Tucker Wadkins, Brady Watt, Michael Weaver, Mickey Werenski, Richy Werenski, Todd White, Aaron Wilkin, Scott Wolfes, Woody Woodward, Bobby Wyatt, Andrew Yun, Andy Zhang, Jordan Zunic.
THE PLAYERS AMATEUR
July 11-14, Berkeley Hall Golf Club, Bluffton
Admission: Free and open to the public.