ONLINE VERSION: https://bit.ly/3gp4POU
2020 U.S. Amateur Field Exemptions List: https://bit.ly/31HfL6D
FAYETTEVILLE – Three members of the Arkansas men’s golf team – William Buhl, Julian Perico and Segundo Oliva Pinto – have gained an exemption to play in the 2020 United States Amateur Championship, set for August 10-16 at Bandon (Ore.) Dunes Golf Resort.
Due to COVID-19, the normal qualifying tournaments were not held and the field of 264 has been determined based on criteria for an exemption into the 120th USGA’s national championship. Buhl, Perico and Oliva Pinto each earned an exemption based on their World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) inside the top 225 (as of June 24, 2020).
“Making the decision to forgo qualifying for our championships this year was extremely difficult, but we’re glad to be able to continue the legacy of these competitions and provide the best amateur players in the world the opportunity to compete for a USGA title,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. “We aimed to create fields that most closely resemble those for a typical Amateur and Women’s Amateur and are confident we will crown two worthy champions in August.”
Buhl is ranked 125 in the WAGR as he defended his Gopher Invitational title last fall and won the 2019 Canadian Open to qualify for last summer’s US Amateur. While it did not count toward his WAGR ranking, Buhl is coming off a top 10 finish at the All Pro Tour’s NWA Charity Classic at Bella Vista (June 24-27), shooting 16-under-par at the event. Buhl earned All-America honorable mention honors this past season thanks to his 70.65 scoring average with a team-best 17 rounds at par or better with six top 20 finishes.
Perico is ranked 204 in the WAGR. In his last collegiate event prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Perico finished fourth at the Cabo Collegiate, an event with 14 of the nation’s top 50 NCAA programs. The rising junior additionally placed sixth at the 2020 Latin America Amateur Championship – his third top 15 finish at the event. Perico was voted first team All-SEC and, for the second time in two seasons, tabbed All-Region as he set a school record with a scoring average of 70.38 including 10 rounds in the 60’s with three top five finishes.
Oliva Pinto is ranked 212 in the WAGR. The rising junior played two seasons at UNC Wilmington and will join the Razorbacks this fall. He was the 2019 Colonial Athletic Association champion and placed eighth at the 2020 Latin America Champion. This past season, Oliva Pinto won twice and posted the lowest stroke average in the CAA at 69.71, which additionally was a UNCW school record, to earn All-Region honors. In his two seasons with the Seahawks, Oliva Pinto tallied a 71.42 scoring average.
In the final collegiate Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, Buhl was 35th nationally, Perico 58th and Oliva Pinto 61st. In the Golf Stat final rankings, Perico was 95th, Buhl 11th and Oliva Pinto 115th.