Perseverance Pays Off

After falling short in qualifying, Davis Bryant of Aurora makes field for U.S. Amateur in Colorado thanks to strong run in Elite Amateur Golf Series; sister Emma is playing in this week’s U.S. Women’s Am; also landing U.S. Am spot is Coloradan Cole Nygren

By Gary Baines – 8/7/2023

A month ago, Davis Bryant of Aurora came up short in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur qualifier in Laramie, Wyo., tying for 15th place in a tournament where only three U.S. Am berths were available.

As it turned out, that wasn’t the end of Bryant’s hopes for playing in the U.S. Amateur in his home state before turning pro. And, after everything played out, the summer-long quest wasn’t for naught.

The 2019 CGA Player of the Year finished fifth in the 2023 Elite Amateur Golf Series standings, and with the top five earning invitations to the U.S. Am, Bryant will be in the 312-man field when Cherry Hills Country Cub and Colorado Golf Club host the national championship Aug. 14-20.

It will be the second U.S. Amateur for Bryant, who also competed in 2020.

With Bryant locking up a spot, he and his younger sister will tee it up in USGA national championships in successive weeks as Emma Bryant is competing in the U.S. Women’s Amateur in Los Angeles starting today (Aug. 7). Both Davis and Emma Bryant are products of the First Tee at Green Valley Ranch.

Davis Bryant, a graduate of Eaglecrest High School (where he won a 5A state individual title) and Colorado State (where he helped the Rams qualify for the 2023 NCAA nationals), had strong showings at three Elite Amateur Golf Series events to help his cause considerably. Now No. 88 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Bryant placed fourth in the Northeast Amateur, was a quarterfinalist in the North & South Amateur and finished 10th in the Pacific Coast Amateur. That’s in addition to winning his second straight Southwestern Amateur, which isn’t part of the Elite Amateur Series.

Despite missing the cut in last week’s Western Amateur, Bryant moved up one spot — into the crucial top five in the Elite Amateur Series standings.

“I am extremely excited to compete in the U.S. Amateur,” Bryant said via text to Colorado Golf Journal. “There is a ton of history at Cherry Hills with many USGA Championships being held there and I am proud to have the opportunity to compete in my hometown in front of family and friends. Showcasing an unbelievable golf course on national TV for the biggest amateur event in the world will be awesome for Colorado golf. This will be my last amateur event before pursuing professional golf, and I can’t wait to get going on Monday!”

Bryant will join fellow Coloradans Connor Jones and Gavin Hagstrom as players from the 2022-23 CSU golf team that will be in the U.S. Amateur field. (Hagstrom has since transferred to the University of Minnesota.)

Also landing a spot in the U.S. Amateur recently was 2021 CGA Match Play champion Cole Nygren of Longmont, who originally was the first alternate in qualifying held at Columbine Country Club on July 6. Nygren (139 total for 36 holes that day), Jones (133) and Blake Trimble of Denver (138) are now the three qualifiers from that site.

With the additions of Bryant and Nygren, a dozen players with strong Colorado connections are known to be in the field for next week’s U.S. Amateur, where competitors will play one round each of stroke play at Cherry Hills and Colorado Golf Club Aug. 14-15 before the field is cut to 64 for the match-play portion of the event at Cherry Hills starting Aug. 16: 

Davis Bryant of Aurora

Jack Castiglia of Lakewood

Pat Grady of Westminster

Gavin Hagstrom of Fort Collins

Future CU golfer Brandon Knight

Connor Jones of Westminster, a CSU golfer

CU golfer Dylan McDermott

Nick Nosewicz of Aurora

Cole Nygren of Longmont

Future CU golfer Parker Paxton

Colin Prater of Colorado Springs

Blake Trimble of Denver

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates