A Preview Of Eugene (Ore.) Country Club
Designer: H. Chandler Egan (Revisions by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1967)
USGA championships: This will be the fourth USGA championship conducted at the course and first since the 2002 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur won by Kathy Hartwiger. In 1964, future U.S. Open and British Open champion Johnny Miller won the U.S. Junior Amateur and the late Jeff Thomas won the 1993 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Designer notes: When Jones made revisions to the course, he reversed the nines. His son, Robert Jr., who has become a well known designer as well, also assisted with the renovation.
Championship notes: The par-3 fifth hole will be extended from 155 yards to 185 yards after the field is cut to the low 64 scorers for match play. The hole will play from the shorter teeing ground during the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying portion of the competition.
Club notes: The club was organized in 1899 – the current course opened in 1926 – and is the second-oldest club in Oregon.
Slots of fun: In 1938, member Jack “Tad” Luckey suggested placing slot machines in the clubhouse as a way of raising revenue for the club. By 1941, the machines were generating between $40,000 and $50,000 a year, enough to fund the first clubhouse renovation – the 19th hole.
Grooming grounds: Eugene Country Club has produced the likes of 2000 U.S. Amateur champion Jeff Quinney, current University of Oregon men’s golf coach Casey Martin and former PGA Tour player Brian Henninger. A replica of the Havemeyer Trophy won by Quinney at Baltusrol Golf Club was purchased by the club and it resides among the memorabilia in the clubhouse. Martin, a former Stanford teammate of Tiger Woods, made history in 1998 when he won a landmark court decision to use a golf cart in PGA Tour events due to his disability. The USGA also decided to honor the ruling and Martin used a cart at the ’98 U.S. Open. He has since retired from competitive golf.
Oregon trail: This will be the third time in the last eight years that the Women’s Amateur will be waged in Oregon. Pumpkin Ridge in North Plains hosted the championship in 2006, while the 2000 championship was played at Waverley C.C. Kimberly Kim, who at 14 became the youngest champion at the 2006 Women’s Amateur, will be in the field this year. Current LPGA Tour player Marcy (Newton) Hart won the 2000 Women’s Amateur.
Eugene’s own: The last player from the state of Oregon to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur title was Eugene resident Mary Budke in 1972 at St. Louis (Mo.) Country Club. Budke, a physician, competed on the 1974 USA Curtis Cup team and captained the victorious 2002 USA Curtis Cup squad at Fox Chapel outside of Pittsburgh.
Welcome back: Ron Weber, who represented the University of Houston in the 1959 NCAA Championships held at Eugene C.C., later returned to the club as the head golf professional. Mark Sivara is the current head pro at the club.
Preview compiled by USGA New Media staff writer David Shefter. Email him with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.