Aug. 15, 2003
UCLA will be represented by one former and four current players when the 103rd U.S. Amateur commences on Monday at historic Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, PA. One of golf's most grueling tests, the Amateur features 36-holes of stroke play, followed by single elimination match play, culminating in a 36-hole final on Aug. 24.
The winner receives a one-year exemption into the U.S. Open and the British Open Championship, plus an invitation to the Masters Tournament. In addition, the U.S. Amateur champion is exempt from the following year's tournament, if still an amateur.
UCLA All-Americans Steve Conway, John Merrick and Travis Johnson, along with junior John Poucher and former Bruin standout Parker McLachlin will begin play Monday in hopes of becoming UCLA's first U.S. Amateur champion.
Conway earned Second Team All-America honors in 2003 by winning two individual titles and leading the Bruins in scoring average. Merrick, a two-time All-American, won the 2003 Pac-10 Championship and was the top sectional qualifier for the U.S. Amateur at Aurora CC in Aurora, IL. Johnson earned 2003 Honorable Mention All-America honors and GCAA Academic All-America acclaim. Poucher, who qualified with a 36-hole score of 136 at Genoa Lakes Golf Course in Genoa, NV, tied for eighth at the SCGA Amateur Championship in June and placed third at last month's Scratch Players Championship.
McLachlin, who tied for 16th at the 2001 NCAA Championships, graduated in 2002 after lettering four seasons for UCLA.
In the current GolfWeek amateur rankings Johnson is ranked 36th, Merrick 39th, Conway and senior Roy Moon are tied for 75th and Poucher is 90th.