U.S. Amateur Golf Championship players battle for Cherry Hill slot

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

On Wednesday, golfers from around the world competed for two spots in the United States Amateur Golf Championship.

Some of the people hitting the links on Wednesday at the Eagle Creek Golf and Country Club call Southwest Florida home.

The amateur golfers are battling for two spots in the Cherry Hill tournament.

“This is like the biggest tournament I ever want to play in. I always wanted to play in the US Amateur since I was, you know, 12, 13 when I first learned about it,” said Florida Gulf Coast University golfer Austin Cherichella.

Golfer holding their follow-through. CREDIT: WINK News

This is Cherichella’s fourth qualifying attempt for the US Amateur.

“Cherry Hill is a lot of big history there. Arnold Palmer winning the US Open there,” said Cherichella. “So it would be really cool to play in that. But it doesn’t look too well for me. Hopefully, I can get in tomorrow and shoot a really good one to get there.”

More than 20 local golfers are playing in the two-day qualifier. For Loren David, from Naples, this is his first attempt.

“Any time I’m competing, I want to win, right? So I think everyone out here is doing the same thing. This is the biggest amateur event in the country you know to get into if you get there. And I think everyone wants to play well and have a good time​,” said David.

Jimmy Paradise, on the other hand, plays at the University of Connecticut. He had a short drive from Tamp to Eagle Creek Golf and Country Club in Collier County.

However, not all of the other golfers were as lucky. Some came from as far away as Ecuador and England for their chance.

“It’s one of the cool things about golf. You know you meet a lot of different kids from all different backgrounds. A lot of different places,” said Paradise.

By the end of Thursday, two players will punch their ticket to compete at Cherry Hill.

After the first day of competing, an Ecuadorian golfer led the qualifier at eight under par. Oliver Marshall, from Naples, is in second place at four strokes under par.

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