Merrill Finishes Play at U.S. Amateur

2008 U.S. Amateur official website

PINEHURST, N.C. - Dean Merrill, who graduated from Penn in May and captained the Quakers' men's golf team in 2007-08, completed play at the 108th U.S. Amateur Championship, which took place August 18-24 at the famed Pinehurst Resort & Country Club.

Merrill shot a first-round 79 on Pinehurst'sprestigious No. 2 course, and finished that day at 9-over par. The following day he was able to come up with a pair of birdies, but still shot a 72 on Pinehurst's No. 4 course which was 2-over par. His 11-over-par finish put him in a tie for 209th overall (out of 315 players who completed both rounds). As a result,Merrill did not advance to the 64-player match play portion of the Championship.

Thetitle was eventually won by New Zealand's Danny Lee, an 18-year-old who defeated Florida State sophomore Drew Kittleson, 5 and 4, in the 36-hole match play final.

This marked the second year in a row Merrill qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship; last year, at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, he was also unable to get past stroke play. Merrill qualified for this year’s Championship on July 24, when he shot a two-round 143 (3 over par) at the par-70 Dutchess Golf and Country Club in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest of 13 national championships hosted each year by the United States Golf Association (USGA). The first Amateur was conducted in 1895 at Newport (R.I.) Country Club. Past winners of the Amateur title include Arnold Palmer (1954), Jack Nicklaus (1958, 1961) and Tiger Woods (1994-96).