FRANKLIN TWP — The 20th annual Butler Eagle Amateur Open will be missing a familiar face this year.
Sean Knapp, winner of five of the past six Eagle Amateurs, will not be among the field Aug. 10 when the 18-hole stroke play tournament takes place at Lake Arthur Country Club.
The St. Jude Golf Club member has qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship, scheduled for Aug. 11-17 in Atlanta. Knapp is heading there on Aug. 8.
“Obviously, this is a conflict I can’t avoid,” Knapp, 52, said. “My heart will be there. I am disappointed I can’t play.
“I’ve had a good run (in the Eagle Amateur) and I feel like I had an opportunity to do something historic. Now I won’t get that chance.”
The Eagle Amateur’s defending women’s champion, Jane Wymer, will not be among this year’s field, either. The multiple-time Butler Country Club champion is two-time Eagle Amateur champ, tying Jenna Rinker for the top spot last year.
Knapp has qualified for the U.S. Amateur 14 times. He reached the round of eight in 1998, his best finish in the tournament. He played against Tiger Woods at the U.S. Amateur in 1995.
Knapp qualified for this year’s U.S. Amateur by carding a 139 for 36 holes July 22 on the Silver Course at Treasure Lake in Dubois.
He earned the second of two qualifying spots there, joining Jeannette’s Ronald Denunzio, who shot a 137.
With Knapp out of the Eagle Amateur, “there is no clear favorite,” committee member John Carpenter said.
Before Knapp first played in the tourney in 2008, the Eagle Amateur had produced 12 different winners in 12 years. The most recent of those 12 was Rob Voltz in 2007.
Nathan Bilski won the 2006 Eagle Amateur at Lake Arthur.
The Eagle Amateur entry fee of $65 does not include a cart. It covers greens fees, skins games by flight and prizes.
Golfers may register for the event by calling Carpenter at 724-794-4040.