BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Oakland Hills Country Club will celebrate its centennial by hosting the U.S. Amateur.
The Detroit-area club has been picked to host the USGA’s oldest championship in 2016 and held a news conference Wednesday to announce the event.
“This is a very exciting day for us at Oakland Hills,” club president Terry Donnelly said. “We are extremely proud to be able to continue our tradition of hosting USGA championships. We look forward with great anticipation to 2016.”
Oakland Hills, which was founded in 1916, hosted the U.S. Amateur in 2002. The club also has hosted six U.S. Opens, three PGA Championships and the 2004 Ryder Cup.
Ricky Barnes beat Hunter Mahan in the final match to win the 2002 U.S. Amateur.
“I think in terms of club enjoyment, the 2002 Amateur ranks right at the top of all the major championships that we’ve hosted,” Donnelly said. “It really is a fan-friendly event.”
Oakland Hills hosted the U.S. Open most recently in 1996, when Steve Jones won the title. Its most recent PGA Championship was 2008, when Padraig Harrington became the first European in 78 years to win the PGA.
Thomas O’Toole Jr., chairman of the USGA championship committee, was mum when asked about the possibility of Oakland Hills hosting another U.S. Open at some point.
“We’ve had a longstanding policy in the United States Golf Association that we do not discuss our interaction with clubs about our future sites, particularly United States Open championships,” he said.
Donnelly says his club is interested, though.
“We would certainly be interested in hosting another U.S. Open championship,” Donnelly said. “But I can assure you right now that our focus is on hosting the best possible U.S. Amateur that we can in 2016.”
The U.S. Amateur will be held Aug. 15-21, 2016. The North and South Courses at Oakland Hills will be used for stroke play qualifying, and the South Course will be used for match play.
“This is our largest championship from a player aspect – 312 players. Our U.S. Open has half of that,” O’Toole said. “Hotel, meals – the impact on the community is significant.”