There are a handful of guys like Ken Bradley at the U.S. Amateur Championship.
A group who year after year, manage to battle their way through the Preliminary Rounds to the championship – we call them U.S. Amateur Championship veterans or just “regulars.” They are what the U.S. Amateur Championship is all about – love of the game, purity of competition and a desire to take their game where it’s never been before.
They’re not as interested in prize money as much as they are the potential of forever being labeled a U.S. Amateur Champion.
“There are so many wonderful aspects of the event including the competition and format, but if I had to choose the one part I like the most, it would have to be the camaraderie. Every year players from all over the country come with the the same goal – to be the US Amateur Champion. And over the years I’ve developed some great friendships with these guys. Each year it’s like a small reunion where we catch up, swap battle stories, joke about our misses, brag about our successes and soak in the good will we all share,” said Bradley, a software developer from Daytona, Fla.
It’s also a sense of accomplishment that drives Bradley to return each year.
“Every year nearly 2,000 players around the country take their shot in a Preliminary Round, but only 128 men and 32 women advance to the final rounds. Once here, you’re playing against a tested field that won their spot just like you did to reach this plateau. And once you reach it, you don’t want to give it up. Every year, it becomes a quest to return,” Bradley added.
Bradley is looking to improve upon his previous best 7th Place finish in 2010.
“Every year the competition gets tougher and tougher, but with a few rolls on my side, heck, anything is possible if I catch a gear and get in a groove. I’d like to walk away with some hardware this year,” he said.