Dillon Adam Dougherty (born December 17, 1982) is one of the nation's top amateur golfers. He was a finalist at the 105th United States Amateur, losing to Eduardo Molinari 4 and 3. He is a fifth year senior at Northwestern University. Dillon is from Woodland, California. He is the eldest child of Dan and Jamie Dougherty; he has twin brothers named Ian and Graham. In high school he was an honors society member and played basketball. He qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur in 1998 and 1999. He is a history major. In 2004, he won the Alister MacKenzie Invitational. He was the leader of Northwestern's 2004-2005 golf team. Head coach Pat Gross describes him as a great role model for the team, with a work ethic and desire to be great second to none.
The U.S. Amateur
The 2005 U.S. Amateur took place at Merion, in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. This course was the site of Bobby Jones's grand slam and Ben Hogan's picturesque 1-iron shot. On Monday and Tuesday, Augus 22nd and 23rd, Dillon played in the stroke play rounds, shooting a 36 hole score of 143. This gave him a seeding of 16th out of 64 players. On Wednesday, August 24th, in the first round of match play, he defeated the 49th seeded Alex Knoll of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 5 and 3. On Thursday, August 25th, in the second round of match play, he defeated the 17th seeded gary Wolstenhome of England, 4 and 2. On Thursday, August 25th, in the third round of match play, he defeated the 32nd seeded Dane Burkhart of Aiken, South Carolina, 2 and 1. On Friday, August 26th, in the quaterfinals, he defeated the 57th seeded Ryan Yip of Canada, 4 and 2.
A Miraculous Saturday
The semifinals on Saturday, August 27th were certainly thrilling for Dougherty. His opponent was the 53rd seeded J.C. Deacon, from Toronto. A student at UNLV and former teammate of Ryan Moore, Deacon was 2 up after the first two holes. Dougherty battled back to his own 2 up lead through ten. Dougherty found disaster on the par 4 eleventh, site of Bobby Jones's historical victory, and conceded the hole. Dougherty found trouble on 14 and 15 and was 2 down standing on the 16th tee. Both players hit terrible drives, but miraculously halved the hole with pars. On the long par 3 seventeenth, both players' tee shots were left of the green, with Dougherty's up significantly higher on a bank. He chipped in front that point, bringing a roar from the crowd and brought the match to all square with one to play. On eighteen both players drives were in the rough. Deacon played first and left his second shot in the rough just short and right. Dougherty's second shot hooked left and hit the NBC announcer's booth. He received a drop and hit the pin from 50 yards out. The four inch par putt being conceded, Deacon was unable to get up and down to halve the hole. By winning this match, Dougherty not only won a spot in the 36 hole final, he would also have a free in to the Masters and the U.S. Open.
The Italian Bombshell
On Sunday, August 28th, Dillon Dougherty faced the 24 year old, 55th seeded Eduardo Molinari of Torino, Italy, in the final of the U.S. Amateur. After the morning 18, Dillon was 3 up. But in the afternoon, Molinari was blessed with a hot putter, making seven birdies in fifteen holes. Dougherty played well -- one birdie, one bogie, and thirteen pars -- but he simply couldn't compete. Molinari won on the fifteenth green with another birdie, 4 and 3.