The roster of past champions of the Players Amateur already includes PGA Tour players Ben Curtis, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas, Aron Price and Camilo Villegas, and judging by the early commitments to this year's field, the tournament could add another impressive name to that list next month.
Four of the top seven players in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin world amateur rankings have committed to play in the Players Amateur from July 7-10 at Belfair Golf Club.
Leading the way is second-ranked Tom Lewis, a 20-year-old from Hertfordshire, England, who won the St. Andrew's Links Trophy on the Old Course earlier this month.
Third-ranked David Chung, a rising junior at Stanford, is also in the field, along with a pair of highly ranked Australians -- No. 4 Ben Campbell and No. 7 Matthew Stieger.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
Three USC Beaufort golfers -- Jon Pannone, Chris Lane II and Coley Davis -- are also in the field.
IJGA STUDENTS MAKING WAVES
Current and former students at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy have piled up the honors over the past month.
Morgan Hoffmann, a 2007 graduate of the IJGA, was named a first-team all-American while playing at Oklahoma State this season. But he will make his professional debut this week at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship, where he will play on a sponsor's exemption.
Joining Hoffmann in earning first-team all-America status were a pair of college women's golfers who trained at the IJGA -- 2007 IJGA graduate Marta Silva, a rising senior at Georgia, and 2009 IJGA graduate Stephanie Meadow, a rising sophomore at Alabama. Silva was also named the Division I player of the year by the National Golf Coaches Association.
Harrison Taylor, a native of Shallotte, N.C., who is a rising senior at the IJGA, has been selected to play in the Champions Tour's Nature Valley First Tee Open, a pro-am event that pairs 78 Champions Tour players with 78 junior golfers and 156 amateurs. Taylor also was selected as a Golf Digest Scholar last year, beating out more than 500 enrants to win a $130,000, two-year scholarship to the IJGA.
'WINE AND NINE'
The Dolphin Head Golf Club Women's Golf Association came up with a new way to combine a couple of leisurely activities while raising money for charity.
More than 75 members of the association participated in the first "Wine and Nine" event, in which they played a nine-hole scramble while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and wine tasting on the golf course, then returned to the clubhouse for a reception and silent auction.
The event raised more than $4,500 for three local charities -- Family Promise, Hope Haven and Backpack Buddies.
Follow The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette's sports department at twitter.com/IPBGSports.