SOUTHAMPTON, NEW YORK | It was the kind of mid-June afternoon worthy of a celebration.
With a cool breeze stirring the air at Shinnecock Hills on Tuesday and with the start of the U.S. Open still two days away, the USGA held its inaugural Celebration of Champions, bringing together 12 winners of the organization’s various national championships for a four-hole, alternate-shot exhibition.
Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka was part of the event along with honorary starter Jack Nicklaus as the USGA debuted the event in conjunction with Rolex.
It had the feel of a special event, particularly with Nicklaus on site. Fans crowded around the 10th tee to catch a glimpse or take a photograph of the 18-time major champion, who had a chat with Koepka before the event kicked off.
The event featured Frankie Capan (U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion), Alice Chen (U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball champion), Kelsey Chugg (U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion), Noah Goodwin (U.S. Junior Amateur champion), Sean Knapp (U.S. Senior Amateur champion), Judith Kyrinis (U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion), Matt Parziale (U.S. Mid-Amateur champion), Kenny Perry (U.S. Senior Open champion), Doc Redman (U.S. Amateur champion), Sophia Schubert (U.S. Women’s Amateur champion), Taylor Totland (U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball champion) and Ben Wong (U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion).
The teams of Capan/Totland and Kyrinis/Parziale tied for the low score, both shooting 2-over par for the four-hole event.
The players were sorted into twosomes and played a four-hole loop, incorporating the 10th through 13th holes at Shinnecock Hills. Following the event, a reception was held for the participants in the club’s famous Stanford White-designed clubhouse.