LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The United States Golf Association accepted 7191 entries to play in the 119th U.S. Amateur. 312 players made it through qualifying and that included eight players from Kentucky and six from the city of Louisville. It's hard to imagine there have been too many years with as many or more than that from Louisville in the world's biggest amateur event. Those six qualified at six different sites in five states. And those qualifiers can be tense affairs. Most of them have just two or three spots from fields of 70-90 players.
James Inman is a Trinity product who just graduated from Bellarmine. He had to wait out a pair of lengthy rain delays before finding out that he was the medalist in Lexington.
Clay Amlung is a St. Xavier graduate about to start his Junior year at the University of Cincinnati. He qualified in Cincinnati after surviving a second day and a three-man playoff for one spot.
JM Butler is the reigning Mr. Golf in Kentucky. He's a senior at Trinity who will play his college golf at Auburn. He was the medalist at a qualifier in St. Louis.
Michael Sass is a St. X grad who plays collegiately at the College of Charleston and qualified in Michigan. Logan Sims, a local attorney and member at Valhalla Golf Club, was also a medalist at an event in Cincinnati.
And perhaps the most intriguing of the local qualifiers is Jimmy Kev Clements, who made it through a three-man playoff in Alabama. He played at Christian Academy, walked on at U of L then had some back problems, was cut and mostly gave up the game for three and a half years. He is now 22, a graduate of Liberty University, married and has his own business. He decided to start playing again just six months ago.
"I think there was a lot of burnout," said Clements. I think burnout can come from putting in effort and not seeing results. I think part of it is maturing mentally and then seeing all the work I put in when I was younger just kind of start to show itself."
The US Amateur runs from August 12-18 at historic Pinehurst in North Carolina. After two rounds, the field is pared down to 64 for match play. The locals can't wait to make their mark.
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