Jul. 13—If there is one thing the membership at Oakmont Country Club enjoy the most, it’s putting on a major golf event.
They love to see the best golfers in the world tackle one of the toughest courses in the country. They don’t mind if it’s hard for them to score. They want the best challenged.
And golfers across the country love to compete at Oakmont and see what they can do.
“There is no truer test in golf than Oakmont,” Greensburg native Mark Goetz said. “It’s my favorite course. I love it.”
Goetz is one of six golfers from Western Pennsylvania in the field of 312 that will compete in the 121st U.S. Amateur It’s the sixth time the USGA has held the Amateur at Oakmont. The others were in 1919, ’25, ’38, ’69 and 2003.
The U.S. Amateur is Aug. 9 to the 15.
The USGA also has held nine U.S. Opens and two U.S. Women Opens at Oakmont. The U.S. Open is returning to Oakmont in 2025.
The other five Western Pa. participants are Palmer Jackson, Sean Knapp, Grant Martens, Jimmy Meyers and Jack Sollon.
Monday the USGA had a preview news conference and brought in the country’s No. 2 amateur golfer, Pierceson Coody, a senior at Texas. Coody, the grandson of golf legend Charles Coody, hadn’t been to Oakmont before Monday.
He was eager to see and play the course for the first time.
“I’m going to some mental notes about the course so when I return for some practice rounds I’ll have a feel for the course,” Coody said. “I also plan to take time to look at all the history in the clubhouse.”
Coody also plans to play a round at Longue Vue, the other course that will be used during the first two days of the tournament when the field will be trimmed to 64 for match play competition. He also plans to play a round at the late Arnold Palmer’s course in Latrobe.
“I’m looking forward to competing in my third U.S. Amateur and trying to reclaim the No. 1 spot,” Coody said. “Match play competition is a lot of fun.”
The course has changed a lot since the Amateur was last held at Oakmont in 2003. There were trees on the course, and since then hundreds have been removed.
“The course hasn’t got an easier,” Oakmont chairman of public relations media Sue McMurdy said. “We’re hoping that it’s firm and fast. It makes it more difficult, but it’s difficult anyway.
“It’s exciting for the membership to host a USGA event. It’s in our DNA at Oakmont to have national championships. When you come here, you can feel it. People take their vacations to work the U.S. Amateurs. Oakmont and the USGA have a great relationship.”
There are tickets on sale for the event, and Oakmont is still looking for volunteers to work. Those interested can go to usga.org and sign-up as a volunteer.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .