Inside the Field: 8th U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Jonathan Coe and David Shefter, USGA

| May 16, 2023 | Liberty Corner, N.J.

Inside the Field: 8th U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

FIELD NOTES – Among the 128 sides and 256 golfers in the 2023 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship field, there are:

Oldest Competitors: Marc Apps (63, born 11/7/1959), Bryan Waters (61, born 5/20/1962), Jack Larkin Sr. (61, born 9/3/1961)

Youngest Competitors: Blades Brown (15, born 5/21/2007), Nicholas Logis (15, born 11/1/2007)

Average Age of Field: 32.3 
Field breakdown by age: 
15-20: 39 competitors  
21-25: 33 competitors 
26-30: 40 competitors 
31-35: 45 competitors 
36-40: 50 competitors 
41-60: 49 competitors

Oldest Teams (combined ages): 99, Todd White (55) & Nathan Smith (44); Bryan Waters (61) & Jeff Rangel (38); Stephen Woodard (50) & Brett Boner (49); 97, Michael Brown (50) & Peter Barron III (47); 96, Scott Shingler (51) & Justin Young (45)

Youngest Teams: 31, Nicholas Logis (15) & Sterling Hurd (16); 32, Blades Brown (15) & Jackson Herrington (17); Brayden Miller (16) & Peyton Blackard (16); 33, Teddy Vigna (16) & Jeffrey Forster (17) 
Largest Age Difference (team members): 35, Marc Apps (63) & Tyler Apps (28); 28, Jack Larkin Sr. (61) & Hayes Brown (33); 26, Kevin VandenBerg (56) & Brad Monroe (30); 25, Tony Romo (43) & Tommy Morrison (18); 25, Michael Dunham (50) & Jackson Kingman (25) 
U.S. States Represented – There are 39 states, plus the District of Columbia, represented in the 2023 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball field: California (23), Texas (22), Florida (16), Illinois (15), Arizona (12), North Carolina (12), Massachusetts (10), New Jersey (9), New York (8), Georgia (8), Indiana (7), Kentucky (7), Virginia (7), Alabama (6), Colorado (6), Maryland (6), Ohio (6), Oregon (6), Pennsylvania (6), Washington (6), Michigan (5), Minnesota (5), Oklahoma (5), Tennessee (4), Utah (4), Connecticut (3), District of Columbia (3), Iowa (3), South Carolina (3), Wisconsin (3), Hawaii (2), Louisiana (2), Maine (2), Mississippi (2), Missouri (2), Nebraska (2), Nevada (2), Rhode Island (2), West Virginia (2), Vermont (1)

International – There are six countries represented in the field: United States (245), Canada (3), People's Republic of China (3), England (3), Hong Kong, China (1), and Scotland (1) 

USGA Champions (11): Benjamin Baxter (2016 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Andrew Buchanan (2016 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Scott Harvey (2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur, 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Jack Larkin Sr. (1979 U.S. Junior Amateur), Todd Mitchell (2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Matt Parziale (2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Nathan Smith (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur; 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Todd White (2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Casey Watabu (2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links), Chad Wilfong (2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Davis Womble (2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball)  
USGA Runners-Up (10): Brett Boner (2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur) Chip Brooke (2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Evan Beck (2008 U.S. Junior Amateur), Kenny Cook (2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Joseph Deraney (2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Marc Dull (2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur, 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball), Scott Harvey (2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Drew Kittleson (2008 U.S. Amateur), Garrett Rank (2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur), Todd Mitchell (2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur) 
Players who currently reside in South Carolina: (3): Ryan Clancy, Matthew Doyle, Todd White 

Brothers in the field: Chris and Jack Dukeminier, Troy and Trevor McNary, Matt & Paul Ostby, Evan & Travis Russell

Father/Son Tandem in the field: Marc and Tyler Apps 

Most U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Appearances (2023 included): Scott Harvey (8), Todd Mitchell (8), Nathan Smith (8), Todd White (8), Marc Dull (6), Kenny Cook (5), Sean Rowen (5) 
College Teammates (Current, Former or Future, 28 sides):  
Lee Knox/Bobby Wyatt (Alabama) 
Steven Brooks/Zach Lemons (Asbury) 
Trevor McNary/Troy McNary (Cal State Fullerton) 
Aaron Du/Sampson-Yunhe Zheng (California) 
Eric Lee/Tyler Lee (California) 
Robb Kinder/Alex Price (Christopher Newport) 
Ty Gingerich/Cole Harris (Cincinnati) 
Stephen Behr Jr./John Engler (Clemson) 
Zac Jenkins/Lucas Scherf (Drake) 
Aaron Fricke/Scott Forrester (Drexel) 
Brandon Berry/Trey Bowling (Eastern Kentucky) 
Matthew Doyle/Garrett Risner (Elon) 
Brendan Connolly/Benjamin Dubois (Gonzaga) 
Christopher DeForest/Jon Krick (Illinois) 
John Eades/Matt Schall (Maryland) 
Conner O’Neil/Jonathan Nocek (Michigan State) 
Matt Ostby/Paul Ostby (Northwood) 
Conner Kumpula/Calum Hill (Oregon State) 
Tyler Brewington/Eric Lefante (Rider) 
Andrew Sullivan/Davis Woodliff (Samford)  
Benjamin Baxter/Andrew Buchanan (SMU) 
Zach Kingsland/William Sides (SMU)  
TJ Baker/Danny Gorman (S. Illinois Edwardsville) 
Elliot Bunyaviroch/Davis McDowell (UC San Diego) 
John Angelo/Marcus Carano (College of Wooster) 
Bryce Haney/Tyler Goecke (Wright State) 
Michael Lewis/Thomas McCarthy (Yale) 
Jonathan Lai/Joe Willis (Yale)  
Sides Who Played in 2022 Amateur Four-Ball (20): Tyler Anderson/Devin Johnson; John Angelo/Marcus Carano; Evan Beck/Dan Walters; Chip Brooke/Marc Dull; Nathan Cogswell/Colt Sherrell; Kenny Cook/Sean Rowen; Torey Edwards/Bret Parker; Ty Gingerich/Cole Harris; Kevin Grady/Andrew Sovero; Scott Harvey/Todd Mitchell; Zach Kingsland/William Sides; Drew Kittleson/Drew Stoltz; Carter Loflin/Wells Williams; Brad Monroe/Kevin VandenBerg; Aaron Pounds/Jack Usner; John Ramsey/Chadd Slutzky; Travis Russell/Evan Russell; Nathan Smith/Todd White; Andrew Sullivan/Davis Woodliff; Chad Wilfong/Davis Womble 
Played in 2022 U.S. Senior Open (1): Todd White

Played in 2022 U.S. Amateur (7): Alex Price, Chad Wilfong, Davis Womble, Jack Dukeminier, Matt Parziale, Samuel Storey, Tommy Morrison

Played in 2022 U.S. Mid-Amateur (29): Brad Knight, Bradford Tilley, Brett Boner, Chad Wilfong, Chadd Slutzky, Chip Brooke, Chris Dukeminier, Christopher Wheeler, Colby Harwell, Connor Campbell, Cullen Brasfield, Davis Womble, Drew Evans, Evan Beck, Hayes Brown, Jack Dukeminier, John Ramsey, Joseph Deraney, Joseph Latowski, Kenny Cook, Kevin Grady, Matt Parziale, Nathan Smith, Pat Wilson, Scott Harvey, Scott Shingler, Stephen Behr Jr., Thomas McCarthy, Torey Edwards 
Played in 2022 U.S. Senior Amateur (3): Bryan Waters, Jack Larkin Sr., Kevin VandenBerg 

Played in 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur (9): Aaron Pounds, Blades Brown, Boston Bracken, Drew Miller, Eric Lee, Jack Usner, Mason Snyder, Nicholas Logis, Nicholas Prieto

Past Walker Cup Players (4): Scott Harvey (2015), Nathan Smith (2009, 2011, 2013), Todd White (2013), Bobby Wyatt (2013) 

Notes on Select Sides 

Herbie Aikens, 41, of Kingston, Mass. & Matt Parziale, 35, of Brockton, Mass. 
Aikens and Parziale, the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, are set to make their fourth start in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and first since reaching the quarterfinals in 2019 at Bandon Dunes. Aikens, who operates an electrical contracting company, advanced to the Round of 16 of the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links at Bandon Dunes. Parziale, a former firefighter who now works in the insurance industry, was the low amateur in the 2018 U.S. Open, the first year the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion was exempt into the field. Parziale regained his amateur status in 2013 after a brief attempt at professional golf. He won the Massachusetts Amateur in 2017 and was the runner-up to 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Michael Thorbjornsen in 2021. 
Evan Beck, 32, of Virginia Beach, Va. & Dan Walters, 38, of Winston-Salem, N.C. 
The Beck-Walters duo reached the semifinals of last year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, before falling, 2 and 1, to the eventual champions. Beck, the runner-up in the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur at Shoal Creek as a last-minute entrant, defeated future three-time major champion Jordan Spieth in the semifinals. He was a four-year letter-winner at Wake Forest as well as an All-ACC performer and All-American. Walters, a Rollins College graduate, qualified for the 2015 U.S. Amateur and served as the associate men’s golf coach at Wake Forest for nine years. The two met when Beck played for the Demon Deacons. Walters recently advanced to final qualifying for this year's U.S. Open. 
Stephen Behr Jr., 30, of Atlanta, Ga., & John Engler, 44, of Augusta, Ga. 

Behr is one of two Division I All-Americans in the last 25 years to not turn professional; the other is 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Trip Kuehne. The Clemson graduate is a member of the global sales operations team for SAP. Behr grew up playing Florence (S.C.) Country Club, where his father, Stephen, is the head golf professional. In 2016, he led Clemson to its first Atlantic Coast Conference title in 12 years. Engler, a left-hander who was also an All-American at Clemson, got into the construction and real estate business after a brief stint on the PGA Tour in 2005. He came back to the game after a near-fatal automobile accident in 2003 that killed two people in another vehicle. Engler had to be rescued by a passerby after his vehicle was engulfed in flames. After six surgeries on his ankle and intense physical therapy he was able to miraculously return to the game. He was reinstated as an amateur in 2010.  
Chip Brooke, 47, of Altamonte Springs, Fla., & Marc Dull, 37, of Lakeland, Fla. 
The two Florida natives have competed in four U.S. Amateur Four-Balls, advancing to the quarterfinals in 2022, finishing as runners-up in 2018 and advancing to the semifinals in 2017. Brooke, a salesman for a pallet company who won the 2016 Florida Mid-Amateur, is a former caddie at Bandon Dunes and Streamsong (Fla.) Resort, both of which have hosted previous USGA Four-Ball Championships. Brooke has played in seven USGA events. Dull, who owns a lawn service company and caddies at Streamsong, was the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up to Sammy Schmitz. A veteran of 11 USGA championships, Dull is the great-grandson of two-time U.S. Senior Amateur champion Dexter Daniels. 
Brett Boner, 49, of Charlotte, N.C., & Stephen Woodard, 50, of Charlotte, N.C. 
Boner, the runner-up in the 2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Charlotte Country Club, is fortunate to be playing golf after a near-fatal accident in May 2021. While in Charlotte, a limb fell from a tree and went through his windshield, trapping Boner for some 30 minutes before paramedics rushed him to surgery. The Auburn graduate suffered four broken ribs and a collapsed lung, in addition to permanent nerve damage. He returned to playing golf exactly a year later and competed in the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Erin Hills. This will be his first U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with Woodard, his longtime partner and brother-in-law. Woodard, a commercial real estate broker, qualified for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 2006 and won consecutive events on PGA Tour Canada in 2004, finishing second on that season’s Order of Merit behind former USA Walker Cup competitor Erik Compton. The 1996 Southern Methodist graduate regained his amateur status in 2009.

Michael Dunham, 40, of Concord, Mass., & Jackson Kingman, 25, of Concord, Mass. 
Dunham spent 11 seasons in the National Hockey League as a goaltender with five teams. He was drafted in the third round (53rd overall) by the New Jersey Devils out of the University of Maine, where he helped the Black Bears win the 1993 NCAA title. He later became a goaltender coach with the New York Islanders but left in 2017 to work as a goaltender development coach with the Boston Bruins. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, he helped the USA to a silver medal. He also won a bronze medal in the 2004 World Championships. This will be Dunham’s third USGA championship, following the 2007 and 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateurs. His wife, Kate Merrill, has been an anchor/reporter for WBZ-TV in Boston since 2004, and his father, Ron, was a PGA of America teaching professional. Kingman will be making his first USGA championship start. The side survived a three-hole playoff at GreatHorse in Hampden, Mass., to secure the final spot available in their qualifier. 
Kevin Grady, 35, of Catonsville, Md., & Andrew Sovero, 28, of Catonsville, Md. 

The two members at Rolling Road Golf Club are set to make their second consecutive appearance in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. Sovero was a standout swimmer at the University of Arizona, winning the Pac-12 Conference title in the 200-meter individual medley and qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials. He also broke a number of Maryland records held by Olympic champion Michael Phelps. The director of operations for First Team Staffing Services, he also coaches the swim and boys’ golf teams at his high school alma mater. Grady, who attended the University of South Carolina-Aiken, is a three-time Maryland Mid-Amateur champion and was the runner-up in the 2021 Maryland Open, the same year he was named the Maryland State Golf Association’s Player of the Year.  
Jonathan Jeter, 45, of New Orleans, La., & Todd McPherson, 47, of New Orleans, La.  
For 10 years while he lived in Manhattan, Jeter would take the train out to Bethpage State Park to play the famed Black Course. He also had a cameo in the movie “Remember the Titans,” and once wrote a letter to the NBA declaring himself eligible for the draft (he never heard back). Jeter attended Tulane University and currently is a self-employed innovation consultant. He also once visited the “world’s most dangerous course,” a one-hole layout in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea that is lined with live mine fields just past the out-of-bounds fence. This will be Jeter’s second USGA event following the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur. McPherson, who is making his first USGA start, is a past winner of the Louisiana State Four-Ball.  
Scott Harvey, 44, of Greensboro, N.C., & Todd Mitchell, 42, of Bloomington, Ill. 
USGA stalwarts Harvey and Mitchell claimed the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. They are one of two sides (2015 champions Nathan Smith and Todd White) to compete in all seven previous U.S. Amateur Four-Balls. The duo advanced to the semifinals in 2015 and quarterfinals in 2017. Harvey, a property manager who has competed in 34 USGA championships, won the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur and was a member of the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team. Mitchell, the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up, has played in 30 USGA events. Mitchell, who works in the insurance business, played shortstop at Illinois State and was chosen in the 14th round of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Yankees and played briefly in the club’s minor-league system. 
Drew Kittleson, 34, of Scottsdale, Ariz. & Drew Stoltz, 38, of Scottsdale, Ariz. 
Last year’s U.S. Amateur Four-Ball runners-up, Kittleson and Stoltz went from last-minute entrants to a magical run to the finals at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.), eventually falling in a memorable 37-hole battle. Kittleson was the runner-up to Danny Lee in the 2008 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst No. 2. The Florida State University graduate, who regained his amateur status six years ago, owns a kitchen and bathroom remodeling company. Kittleson, who reached match play in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur in 2019, has competed in eight USGA championships. He played in the Masters and U.S. Open in 2009 and reached the quarterfinals of the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur. Stoltz, who played collegiately at TCU, co-hosts “Gravy and the Sleeze,” a SiriusXM radio show, and “Subpar,” a Golf.com podcast, with 2007 U.S. Amateur/U.S. Amateur Public Links champion and CBS on-course analyst Colt Knost.  

Ryan Perkins, 39, of Fresno, Calif., & Keith Rodriguez, 32, of Fresno, Calif.

In 2015, Rodriguez was part of the largest kidney donor exchange west of the Mississippi. Twelve individuals were involved – six donors and six participants. Rodriguez, who is competing in his first USGA championship, donated a kidney on behalf of his mother in order for her to receive one in exchange. Rodriguez and Perkins first met at Fresno City Junior College and have since become close friends. Rodriguez is an area sales manager for a plumbing, appliance and lighting company.  

Tommy Morrison, 18, of Frisco, Texas, & Tony Romo, 43, of Dallas, Texas 

Romo, the ex-Dallas Cowboys quarterback who is the lead NFL analyst for CBS, will be competing in his first USGA championship after numerous attempts that include advancing once to the final stage of U.S. Open qualifying. Romo grew up in Burlington, Wis., and played football at Eastern Illinois before embarking on a 14-year career with the Cowboys after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He is the third ex-NFL player to qualify for the Four-Ball following Kyle Williams (2019) and Danny Woodhead (2019). Romo has competed in the AT&T National Pro-Am and received sponsor’s invitations to four PGA Tour and three Korn Ferry Tour events, missing the cut in each instance. Romo won the 2022 American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe, and in late April, he won the celebrity portion of the 2023 Invited Celebrity Classic golf tournament in Irving, Texas. His father, Ramiro, won the 2013 Wisconsin SEnior Amateur and competed in the 2015 U.S. Senior Amateur. Morrison enrolled at the University of Texas in January. At 6 feet, 10 inches, he is the tallest player in Division I golf. This will be his third USGA championship following the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur and 2022 U.S. Amateur. The duo met at Chiro Sports Specialists of Dallas in 2019, and quickly became friends and golf partners. 
Garrett Rank, 35, of Canada and Joseph Deraney, 39, of Belden, Miss. 
Rank is a full-time National Hockey League referee who has competed in 22 USGA championships, including three U.S. Mid-Amateurs, nine U.S. Amateurs and the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. In 2021, Rank finished second in the Porter Cup and tied for second in The Dogwood Invitational. He won the 2019 Western Amateur, becoming the first Canadian to win the championship in 42 years and the first mid-amateur to win the title since 1997. Rank, who overcame a cancer scare at age 23, was runner-up to Nathan Smith in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Deraney was the runner-up to Lukas Michel in the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club. He has won two Canadian Mid-Amateurs (2018, 2019), the 2019 Mississippi State Amateur and the 2020 Mississippi Mid-Amateur. Deraney, a stay-at-home father to three children, has competed in six USGA championships. 
Nathan Smith, 44, of Pittsburgh, Pa., & Todd White, 55, of Spartanburg, S.C. 
Smith and White won the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015 with a 7-and-5 triumph in the final at The Olympic Club (Lake Course) in San Francisco, site of the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open and five U.S. Opens. The duo also reached the quarterfinals in 2017 at Pinehurst No. 2. Their partnership was forged in the 2013 Walker Cup Match, where they helped the USA retain the Cup at National Golf Links of America. They are one of two sides to have played in all seven previous Amateur Four-Balls (with 2019 champions Scott Harvey and Todd Mitchell). Smith owns a record four U.S. Mid-Amateur titles (2003, 2009, 2010, 2012). An investment advisor, Smith has competed in 46 USGA championships. He will serve as the 2025 USA Walker Cup captain at Cypress Point Club. White, a high school history teacher, has played in 31 USGA championships, including the 1995 U.S. Open and the 2021 U.S. Senior Open, where he made the cut. The reinstated amateur advanced to the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinals and reached the quarterfinals in 2014 and 2015. 
Lee Knox, 32, of St. Simons Island, Ga., & Bobby Wyatt, 30, of Atlanta, Ga. 
Knox and his brother-in-law Wyatt, a member of the victorious 2013 USA Walker Cup Team, will make their first start in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. The two qualified for the 2022 championship but withdrew just prior to the event when Knox’s wife went into labor. During his junior/amateur career, Wyatt was considered one of the country’s top players with fellow University of Alabama and 2013 Walker Cup teammate Justin Thomas. Wyatt was the medalist in the 2012 U.S. Amateur, advancing to the quarterfinals before being defeated by Thomas. Wyatt turned professional and made it to the PGA Tour before deciding to leave professional golf, regaining his amateur status in 2021. He now works for Goldman-Sachs in its Atlanta office. Knox, who also played at Alabama, is the son of Jeff Knox, the former non-competitive marker at the Masters Tournament who once unofficially bested Rory McIlroy. A player manager for sports marketing agency Sportfive, Knox is a two-time winner of the Georgia Amateur.

Jonathan Coe is a senior manager, championship communications at the USGA. Email him at jcoe@usga.org. David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.