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August 02, 2018

USGA and Topgolf’s World Golf Tour Game Launch Inaugural Virtual U.S. Amateur Esports Competition

FAR HILLS, N.J. - The USGA and Topgolf® have launched the first Virtual U.S. Amateur on the World Golf Tour (WGT) game. The game is available on the popular WGT Golf app, WGT.com and usga.org, offering fans an opportunity to compete in an esports competition on the iconic Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, culminating in a live, head-to-head style final round.

The Virtual U.S. Amateur finalists will each win a trip to Atlanta, Ga., to play an 18-hole match live on a big-screen TV at the Topgolf Atlanta Midtown location on Sept. 22, 2018. The winner of the inaugural event will receive a $500 Topgolf gift card, a $500 USGA gift card and an exemption into the 2019 Virtual U.S. Open on WGT. 

Similar to WGT’s Virtual U.S. Open, which has been running as an esports competition for 10 years with more than 4.7 million participants, the Virtual U.S. Amateur will use USGA tee markers and flags. In 2018 alone, 3.5 million rounds of the Virtual U.S. Open were played.

“Today, millions of people play and watch esports, making it the fastest-growing phenomenon in media and entertainment,” said Navin Singh, head of Global Content and Media Distribution for the USGA. “With the support of WGT and Topgolf, the inaugural Virtual U.S. Amateur will bring the esports experience to golf. This is the next step in the USGA’s continued efforts to innovate and connect with new audiences worldwide.”

Contestants can play unlimited qualifying rounds for the 2018 Virtual U.S. Amateur from Aug. 1-26. The top 32 scores from the qualifier will be automatically seeded in two 16-player brackets and will win 2,000 WGT Credits for earning a spot in the Bracket Tournament. Starting on Aug. 29, competitors will square off in single head-to-head stroke-play rounds on the virtual Pebble Beach Golf Links. The lowest score between the two players will win the match and advance to the next round. The two finalists will each receive 6,000 WGT Credits and the semifinalists will win 4,000 WGT Credits.

“For the past 10 years, we have collaborated with the USGA to hold the Virtual U.S. Open esports competition on the country’s most iconic venues,” said Topgolf Media President YuChiang Cheng. “We’re excited to continue bringing together virtual and physical golf experiences with the first Virtual U.S. Amateur. The U.S. Amateur-style format of this new tournament and live championship at Topgolf Atlanta Midtown will create an exciting virtual golf experience for competitors and spectators alike.”

The WGT Golf app is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store as well as a desktop version on WGT.com.

About the USGA
The USGA celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment and amateur status rules. Our operating jurisdiction for these governance functions is the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA Handicap System is utilized in more than 40 countries and our Course Rating System covers 95 percent of the world’s golf courses, enabling all golfers to play on an equitable basis. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.

About Topgolf

Topgolf pioneered a technology to make golf more fun and engaging. It has since emerged as a global sports and entertainment community focused on connecting people in meaningful ways. Today, Topgolf continues to blend technology and entertainment, golfers and non-golfers, children and adults – to create an experience that makes socializing a sport for everyone. No matter the occasion or who you share it with, we believe every great time starts with play, is fueled by food and beverage, moved by music and made possible through community. Every Topgolf venue features dozens of high-tech, climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort, a chef-inspired menu for year-round deliciousness and hundreds of Associates eager to help create the moments that matter. Topgolf is truly everyone’s game, with 44 venues entertaining more than 13 million Guests annually, original content shows, next-gen simulator lounges through Topgolf Swing Suite, the global Topgolf Tour competition, pop-up social experiences like Topgolf Crush, Toptracer technology as seen on TV, and the world’s largest digital golf audience.

For more information about Topgolf, including corporate sponsorships, hospitality opportunities or to learn about and view exclusive digital content, please visit topgolf.com.

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