Ohio State graduate student Neal Shipley put his mark on the world of amateur golf this weekend, finishing as runner-up in the 123rd U.S. Amateur Championship held in Parker, Colo. on Sunday. Shipley fell to sophomore Alabama golfer Nick Dunlap in the final round 4-to-3, but his championship run earned him an opportunity to compete in the 2024 Masters Tournament and U.S. Open.
The 22-year-old Pittsburgh native opened the tournament with a -1 score in stroke play, placing him as the No. 47 seed entering the Round of 64. Despite the low ranking, Shipley quickly shot up the leaderboards, defeating No. 18 seed Wenyi Ding of China in the first round, No. 15 seed Calum Scott of Scotland in the Round of 32, No. 31 seed Cooper Jones of Utah in the Round of 16, No. 7 seed Andi Xu of China in the quarterfinals and No. 11 seed John Marshall Butler of Louisville in the semifinals. Shipley was tied with Dunlap halfway through the 36-hole final, but was ultimately unable to keep up with the former U.S. junior amateur champion in the second frame of the match, losing the 21st, 22nd, 25th and 32nd holes.
“It was a great week,” Shipley said after the championship round. “Nick played phenomenal, and he’s going to be hard to beat regardless of who was playing. I played great all day today, and there’s not much you can do when somebody does that to you. It is what it is, but (I’m) just going with a lot of confidence this week.”
Shipley is entering his second and final season with the Ohio State men’s golf team after spending his first three collegiate seasons – and earning a Bachelor’s degree in quantitative finance — at James Madison. The former Duke played in all 13 events for the program last year, recording five top-20 finishes and earning the second-lowest scoring average on the team at 72.72. Now, the Buckeye golfer will look to take his game to another level in the 2023-24 season after a stellar summer.
“I feel super confident,” Shipley said. “I feel like whenever I tee it up, I can win it now, and that’s a great feeling to have. I’m just looking forward to taking that on to the fall.”