Pebble Beach did not disappoint as a venue for the 118th U.S. Amateur and its fifth time hosting dating to 1929.
Viktor Hovland dominated his opponents all week including finalist Devon Bling. Hovland's winning scores in 2018 U.S. Amateur Match Play:
Even better, Hovland is a big personality with a bigger brain and strong all around game that has even more upside. The first Norwegian to win the Amateur now heads back to Oklahoma State with likely spots in the Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship as well as a chance to be a great international ambassador for amateur golf.
The game stories are worth your time on this one giving the many dimensions to Hovland.
Ron Driscoll gives us the nuts and bolts of a match where Hovland dominated, yet had Bling just been a bit better, would have made very interesting, a compliment to his skill and persistence.
Brentley Romine for Golfweek takes the college angle and explains how Hovland was an accidental find for OSU coach Alan Bratton, who was on the bag this week.
Ryan Lavner at GolfChannel.com has a wild anecdote about how Hovland killed some time in between the morning and afternoon sessions. If you had reading up on a philosophic debate over affirmative action in the pool, you win!
Dave Shedloski dives a little deeper into Hovland's wit and big personality.
Chris Keane's images from the final capture a bit of everything to perfectly sum up the combatants, the venue and the championship.
Hovland's highlights in three minutes:
As for Pebble Beach, I believe my views are fairly well documented in past blog posts about some of the lost architectural potential of the course. But in a week that is a big sacrifice for the Pebble Beach Company to give up the course, all in all the assessment is a positive one.
The nostalgic fan of golf history in me welcomes any chance to celebrate the 1929 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, arguably the tournament I'd most love to go back in time to experience. So check out Joe Bissen's story about the winner back then, Jimmy Johnston, a stockbroker from St. Paul.
And as The Forecaddie notes, it was a fantastic, amazing and slightly bizarre sight of having Jack Nicklaus walking the course early in the week (and not getting recognized by one player). Also, because of his history at Pebble Beach, here is a little-known link to that 1929 U.S. Amateur that Golden Bear buffs will enjoy.
To really bring it full circle, Nicklaus Tweeted his pride at the effort by winner Hovland and runner-up Bling: