Ricky Castillo headlines accomplished Western Amateur field
GLENVIEW, Ill. (July 6, 2020) – The 2020 Western Amateur will feature a talented field of decorated collegiate golfers – including the 2019 Western Amateur medalist and at least six other players who qualified for last year’s Sweet Sixteen – when it comes to Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, from July 27-Aug. 1.
Founded in 1899, the Western Amateur is the world’s third oldest amateur championship behind the British Amateur (1855) and the U.S. Amateur (1895), and regularly attracts the top players from across the country and around the world. Past champions include Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods.
This year, returning champion Garrett Rank, an NHL referee from Ontario, Canada, heads one of the most accomplished fields in the history of the event, with potential future PGA TOUR stars including:
- Florida freshman Ricky Castillo. A 2019 Western Amateur Sweet 16 qualifier and the No. 2-ranked amateur in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Castillo was named NCAA Division I Outstanding Freshman in 2020 while making the All-SEC First Team. He was also a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award, presented annually to the nation’s top men’s college golfer.
- Georgia junior Davis Thompson. The 2019 Western Amateur medalist is the No. 4-ranked amateur in the world, a First Team NCAA Division I All-American and was one of three finalists for the Haskins Award, presented annually to the nation’s top men’s college golfer.
- Florida State junior John Pak. A two-time Western Amateur Sweet 16 qualifier, Pak was a Second Team NCAA Division I All-American and is the No. 5-ranked amateur in the world.
- Texas sophomore Cole Hammer. The 2018 Western Amateur champion is the No. 7-ranked amateur in the world. He posted two top-10 results during the abbreviated 2020 season, finishing T9 at the Fighting Illini Invite and T4 at the East Lake Cup.
“We strive each year to attract the best amateur players in the world, and we’re pleased that so many of them have chosen to play in this year’s Western Amateur,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA senior vice president of tournaments. “We’re excited to bring this elite field to a venue as iconic as Crooked Stick.”
The 2020 Western Amateur will mark the first time since 1951 that one of the world’s oldest and most storied amateur golf championships will be played in the state of Indiana. South Bend Country Club hosted that year’s Western Amateur, which was won by famed golfer Frank Stranahan. The Western Amateur has never been played in the Indianapolis area.
In 1964, Pete Dye, built his first great golf course – Crooked Stick. Supported by 60 “interested, avid, and maybe crazy golfers” from the Indianapolis area, he formed a corporation to acquire a flat cornfield to be transformed into a links blend of Alister Mackenzie, Donald Ross and C.B. Macdonald.
Crooked Stick has hosted several elite golf championships, including the 2012 BMW Championship won by Rory McIlroy and the 2016 BMW Championship won by Dustin Johnson.
Crooked Stick also has been a supporter of the Evans Scholars Foundation, a nonprofit established by the Western Golf Association that has awarded full tuition and housing college scholarships to more than 11,000 caddies since 1930.
Twenty-four of those caddies were from Crooked Stick, including Joe Conway, who is currently enrolled at Purdue University.