MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin rising senior Hunter Richardson continued his scorching summer today with a co-medalist victory at the U.S. Amateur qualifier at Bowling Green Country Club in Bowling Green, Ky.
Richardson was part of a 97-player field and generated rounds of 67-70 today to tie for the best score in the event. His top finish automatically earned him a spot in the 117th U.S. Amateur Championship, which will take place on Aug. 14-20 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. and at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.
“I am excited to get a chance to compete in the biggest amateur tournament in the world against the best players from all over,” Richardson said. “I actually haven’t been playing my best golf here recently but things worked out well for me today.”
Today’s result is the latest of strong finishes in a busy summer for Richardson. That began with a U.S. Open Local West qualifier in Jackson, Tenn., where he shot a 67 to finish sixth in the field of 75 golfers. He followed that with an appearance in the 69th Annual SunTrust Tennessee State Open in Gallatin, Tenn., shooting a 73-65-75 to place 11th out of 144 participants.
From there, Richardson took part in the 114th Annual Trans-Miss Amateur Championship in Hutchinson, Kan. An opening round 67 had him tied for first place in the 144-man field before he posted 75-73 on his final two days to tie for 28th place – one spot below Scottie Scheffler, the low amateur at the 2017 U.S. Open.
Richardson’s active summer schedule continues with an appearance in the 111th Annual Southern Amateur Championship, which is held in Pinehurst, NC on July 19-22.
Following the Southern Amateur, Richardson plans on traveling up north to visit his swing coach Heath Morden in early August. Formerly the head professional at Clarksville Country Club in Richardson’s hometown of Clarksville, Tenn., Morden is now the head professional at TPC Michigan, a course designed by 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus.
“Heath deserves a lot of credit for my success,” Richardson said. “I actually went to go visit him the week before our conference tournament this year as well. He’s helped me out a lot throughout the years and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”
Next month will mark the second career U.S. Amateur appearance for Richardson, who also competed at the 2014 event in Johns Creek, Ga. Just months after his high school graduation, he shot a 76 in each round while perhaps planting a seed for a legendary Skyhawk career that has included three All-OVC selections, back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference medalist honors and a pair of NCAA Regional appearances.
“I’m in a much better spot now than I was before my first U.S. Amateur,” Richardson said. “I have a lot more experience and I have learned how to compete at a high level throughout my collegiate career. I’m a lot more mature and hopefully that will bode well for me this time around.”