New Zealand’s Kazuma Kobori Zooms to Elite Amateur Cup Title

HOOVER, Ala. (Aug. 7, 2023) - After a seven-week run of historic elite men’s amateur summer competitions beginning with the Sunnehanna Amateur in mid-June and culminating with the Western Amateur on Saturday, the 2023 Elite Amateur Cup standings were completed capping off the second edition of the Elite Amateur Golf Series (EAGS).
 
Using World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) points earned from competing in the seven EAGS member events (Sunnehanna Amateur, Northeast Amateur, North & South Amateur, Trans-Mississippi Amateur, Southern Amateur, Pacific Coast Amateur and the Western Amateur), the top five finishers earned multiple exemptions into future USGA, PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour events.
 
More: Final Elite Amateur Cup Standings
 
First Place – Kazuma Kobori, Rangiora, New Zealand
Finishing atop the standings is 21-year-old Kazuma Kobori of Rangiora, New Zealand with a final total of 79.5756 points earned by competing in all seven EAGS events that included four Top-10 finishes highlighted by winning the Western Amateur.

Heading into the Western Amateur, Kobori sat in fourth place in the Elite Amateur Cup standings trailing Cup leader Nick Dunlap by 9.6425 points. Once the Quarterfinal Round was completed with Dunlap falling to Christiaan Maas of South Africa, the path for Kobori became clear – win the Western Amateur and that would seal the Elite Amateur Cup title as well. Kobori’s win provided him with just enough points to edge Dunlap by a mere 1.5655 points.

Kobori’s other EAGS finishes included T7 (Southern Amateur), T8 (Trans-Miss Amateur), T9/Round of 16 (North & South Amateur), T20 (Pacific Coast Amateur), T22 (Northeast Amateur), and T30 (Sunnehanna Amateur).
“I hadn’t won a tournament in the U.S. and actually missed almost every cut in the Elite Amateur Series last year,” Kobori noted to the Western Golf Association. “I made every cut this year, and to finish it off with a win is just incredible.”
 
As the 2023 Elite Amateur Cup Champion, Kobori has been awarded the following exemptions:
●      (1) 2023 or 2024 PGA TOUR Exemption (TBA)
●      (1) 2024 Korn Ferry Tour Exemption (First selection from inventory of available events)
●      2023 U.S. Amateur Exemption
●      2024 U.S. Open Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)
●      2024 U.S. Amateur Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)

Second Place – Nick Dunlap, Huntsville, AL (USA)
Nick Dunlap of Huntsville, AL arguably had the best performance this summer paced by two EAGS victories plus being named to the United States Walker Cup team and competing in the U.S. Open Championship at Los Angeles Country Club despite falling just short in the chase for the Elite Amateur Cup.

A sophomore at the University of Alabama, the 19-year-old Dunlap competed in five of seven events, winning back-to-back weeks at the Northeast Amateur and North & South Amateur. He finished T5/Quarterfinals (Western Amateur), T8 (Trans-Miss Amateur) and T59 (Southern Amateur).
  
Dunlap has been awarded the following exemptions for the second-place finish:
●      (1) 2023 or 2024 PGA TOUR Exemption (TBA)
●      (1) 2024 Korn Ferry Tour Exemption (Second selection from inventory of available events)
●      2023 U.S. Amateur Exemption
●      2024 U.S. Open Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)
●      2024 U.S. Amateur Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)

Third Place – Jackson Van Paris, Pinehurst, NC (USA)
Jackson Van Paris of Pinehurst, NC closed the Series in third place with 65.5494 points after competing in five EAGS events. Van Paris began his summer with a one stroke victory at the Sunnehanna Amateur vaulting him into the early Cup standings lead. The 19-year-old Vanderbilt University Junior finished T3/Semifinals (North & South Amateur), T7 (Northeast Amateur), 35th (Western Amateur) and 55th (Southern Amateur).
 
Van Paris receives the following exemptions for his third-place finish:
●      (1) 2024 Korn Ferry Tour Exemption (Third selection from inventory of available events)
●      2023 U.S. Amateur Exemption
●      2024 U.S. Open Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)
●      2024 U.S. Amateur Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)

Fourth Place – Neal Shipley, Pittsburgh, PA (USA)
Neal Shipley of Pittsburgh, PA finished the Series with 61.3108 points highlighted by three Top-10 finishes to take fourth place. The 22-year-old Ohio State graduate student competed in five EAGS events, including the last four consecutively.
 
Shipley began the Series with a solo second place finish at the Sunnehanna Amateur, one stroke behind Jackson Van Paris. Three weeks later at the Trans-Miss Amateur in Dallas, he lost on the first playoff hole to Jake Holbrook to finish in second place for the second straight event. Shipley would round out the summer with a T14 finish (Southern Amateur), T3 (Pacific Coast Amateur) and missed 36-hole cut at the Western Amateur.
 
Shipley earned the following exemptions for finishing in fourth place:

●      (1) 2024 Korn Ferry Tour Exemption (Fourth selection from inventory of available events)
●      2023 U.S. Amateur Exemption
●      2024 U.S. Open Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)
●      2024 U.S. Amateur Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)

Fifth Place – Davis Bryant, Aurora, CO (USA)
Davis Bryant of Aurora, CO, rounded out the top five with 52.4311 points after competing in six EAGS events with three Top-10 finishes. The 23-year-old Colorado State graduate earned 5.7124 points at the Western Amateur to move into the coveted fifth spot that earns him multiple exemptions including a spot into the U.S. Amateur this week at Cherry Hills which he previously was not exempt or had qualified for.

His other Series finishes include: T4 (Northeast Amateur), T5/Quarterfinals (North & South Amateur), 10th (Pacific Coast Amateur), T58 (Trans-Miss Amateur), and T79 (Southern Amateur)
 
Bryant receives the following exemptions for fifth-place:
●      (1) 2024 Korn Ferry Tour Exemption (Last selection from inventory of available events)
●      2023 U.S. Amateur Exemption
●      2024 U.S. Open Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)
●      2024 U.S. Amateur Championship - Exemption into Final Qualifying (must remain an amateur)

Additionally, sixth through tenth place finishers in the 2023 Elite Amateur Cup standings receive an exemption into Final Qualifying for the 2024 U.S. Amateur Championship as part of a restructured qualifying process next year. Those players are William Moll, John Keefer, Luke Clanton, Jack Buchanan, and Riley Lewis.

A “draft” will be held this fall to determine the Korn Ferry Tour exemption placements with Kobori holding the first selection of the available opportunities then proceeding downward according to final Cup position with Bryant receiving the last remaining event.
 
The 2023 Elite Amateur Cup awards ceremony will take place at the Cherry Hills Country Club clubhouse in Cherry Hills Village, CO on Friday, August 11, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Credentialed U.S. Amateur media is invited to attend.
 
The Elite Amateur Golf Series would like to thank Titleist and FootJoy as the “Premier Equipment Partner of the Elite Amateur Golf Series” for their support this year in addition to the USGA, WAGR, our tour affiliated event partners and Ben Adelberg/The Back of the Range.
 
For more information about the Elite Amateur Golf Series, the Elite Amateur Cup and the seven individual championships is available at eliteamateurgolfseries.org. Follow @eliteamseries on Twitter and Instagram as well as @EliteAmateurGolfSeries on Facebook.

About the Elite Amateur Golf Series
Formed in 2021 to challenge “The Best of the Best” in amateur golf, the Elite Amateur Golf Series (EAGS) aligns the top amateur championships in a collective competition, the Elite Amateur Cup. In addition to hosting the best players, Elite Amateur Cup events are contested at renowned venues and have the longest history of identifying the next great champions of the game. EAGS events hold a proven track record of conducting the most challenging competitive tests, making the championships among the majors of amateur golf. The seven founding championships that comprise the series have a distinguished history hosting the top talent and competitive play in amateur golf. These championships are the Sunnehanna Amateur, Northeast Amateur, North & South Amateur, Trans-Mississippi Amateur, Southern Amateur, Pacific Coast Amateur and the Western Amateur. For more information, please visit www.eliteamateurgolfseries.org.
 
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