Beaufort News

2015 US Junior Amateur to be played at Colleton River Plantation

The Dye Course at Colleton River Plantation has been awarded the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur, pending the contract's final approval by the United States Golf Association.

The par-72, Pete Dye design has hosted numerous USGA qualifiers, including a U.S. Open local qualifier this week. The U.S. Junior will be the course's first USGA championship.

Contact began in April 2010. USGA officials visited the site in early 2011 and liked the walkability of the Dye Course. They felt the Nicklaus Course, with longer distances between greens and tees, would be better suited for a U.S. Senior Amateur, said Colleton River member Mike Murphy, who will serve as the USGA official in charge for the U.S. Junior.

Colleton River's Al Thiess will serve as the tournament's general chairman. Club officials have signed the contract agreeing to host the tournament and are waiting on an announcement from the USGA, Murphy said.

The Dye Course is known as a tough test. Of the 87 U.S. Amateur sectional qualifying sites in 2011, the Dye Course produced the highest score for a medalist, at 2-over-par 146. The course played at 7,254 yards for this week's U.S. Open qualifier and features about 300 bunkers.

Murphy guessed the U.S. Junior will require about 250 volunteers. He plans to lobby the club's membership and talk to longtime Heritage director Steve Wilmot about finding more volunteers.

"A lot of members are going to be excited about this, I'm sure," Murphy said.

The U.S. Junior will be held in July 2015. Murphy said USGA officials talked about the logistics of the Dye Course and Nicklaus Course hosting other championships, but that no specifics were mentioned.

"There isn't any commitment on their part on another event," Murphy said.

Murphy said the USGA looks for a course's commitment to its events and its local golf chapter.

The Dye Course has held U.S. Amateur sectional qualifiers four of the previous five years, three U.S. Open local qualifiers and a U.S. Senior Open sectional qualifier. The course held the S.C. Golf Association's S.C. Amateur in 2011.