The Atlanta Athletic Club has made the decision to switch the greens on its Riverside Course from bentgrass to Champions Bermuda. The club already changed the greens on its Highland Course in preparation for the 2011 PGA Championship.
In addition to providing a better year-round surface for its members, the decision ensures that competitors at the 2014 U.S. Amateur will be putting on the same surface during both days of the stroke-play qualifying rounds.
“It takes the Amateur from good to great,” said Ken Mangum, the Atlanta Athletic Club’s director of grounds. “Our goal is to make this the best U.S. Amateur Championship they’ve ever had.”
The transition will begin on July 12 and should be completed in seven weeks.
English victory: Now that Harris English has won his first PGA Tour event, the University of Georgia graduate can hardly wait to reap one of its biggest rewards. English, who grew up in Thomasville, already had his mind on Augusta.
“The main thing that I am looking forward to is playing the Masters next year,” English said.
It will be another chance for him to play in front of family and friends, as he did last week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis. He estimated at least 10 high school friends from the Baylor School in Chattanooga were in attendance.
“I know that if I make a birdie or a bogey, they’re going to be the same and they’re rooting me on,” English said.
English had a good rookie season in 2012 with three top-10s finishes and 10 top-25s in 27 starts. This year he already has four top-10s and now ranks 13th in the FedEx Cup standings.
English had a storied amateur career. He became the third-youngest player (17) to win the Georgia Amateur in 2007. He won the 2011 Southern Amateur and won the Nationwide Tour’s Children’s Hospital Invitational in 2011 as an amateur.
Etc.: Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville beat Ji Eun Baik of Newnan 7 and 5 to win the Georgia Match Play Championship at Chateau Elan. Ramsey, who will be a freshman at Clemson in the fall, seized the momentum with three consecutive birdies on the front nine. He won five matches during the tournament and never had to play any of the final four holes. Hannah Solesbee of Winston won the tournament flight. …
Former Clemson kicker Mark Buchholtz of Cumming and UGA junior Sam Straka picked up two of the three spots available at the U.S. Amateur Public Links qualifier at Woodmont. Jacob Harper of Valley, Ala., was medalist at 12-under, with Buchholtz four shots behind. Straka won a playoff for the final place with a birdie on the first extra hole, beating Kelby Burton of Evans and Scott Wolfes of St. Simons Island. …
Nicholas Reach, a junior at Georgia, won the Palmetto Amateur in a playoff over Scott Stohmeyer, a recent Alabama alum. Reach had lost the tournament in a playoff a year ago. Billy Kennerly of Alpharetta and Mookie DeMoss of Athens tied for fifth. … Former Georgia Tech star David Duval will be at Merion this weekend as a broadcaster. He’s scheduled to do some analysis on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and will be an analyst for coverage that airs on ESPN3 and DirecTV, where he will be paired with Trey Wingo to call the action on the 11th and 18th holes.