CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia sophomore Ben James shot 5-under 67 to finish the opening round of stroke play at the U.S. Amateur Championship tied for second place. James had six birdies one bogey during his round at Colorado Golf Club.
During his first year at UVA, James was the winner of the 2023 Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award, a first-team Ping All-American, ACC Freshman of the Year and a finalist for both the Haskins and Jack Nicklaus Awards. He finished sixth at the NCAA Championships and is currently the sixth ranked amateur in the world.
The top 64 players in the 312-competitor field will advance to the match play portion of the event following Tuesday’s second round of stroke play.
Not far behind James on the leaderboard is UVA junior Paul Chang (People’s Republic of China). He posted a round of 2-under 69 on the Cherry Hills Country Club course to stand tie for 15th after the first round. Chang will be on the UVA roster for the first time this fall after competing for the Virginia Club program. Chang’s round featured two birdies, two bogeys and an eagle.
Incoming first-year Josh Duangmanee (Fairfax, Va.) finished the opening day of play at 3-over 75 while playing the Cherry Hills course. He is tied for 124th place.
This is the second consecutive year UVA has three players in the field. Last year James was joined by Deven Patel and Pietro Bovari.
James is making his third U.S. Amateur appearance. He placed ninth in stroke play last year and reached the Round of 32 in match play. He also played in the 2020 event but failed to make the cut during stroke play.
The U.S. Amateur will be broadcast on Peacock and Golf Channel starting Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. ET.
Follow live scoring at this link. Complete tournament coverage is available at the USGA website.