Bowing Out

After run to the Sweet 16 at U.S. Amateur, CU’s Justin Biwer falls to 2021 Trans-Miss champ Derek Hitchner

By Gary Baines – 8/18/2022

The deepest run by a University of Colorado golfer at the U.S. Amateur since 2015 came to an end on Thursday evening in Paramus, N.J.

Sophomore-to-be Justin Biwer won his round-of-32 match on Thursday morning, but couldn’t carry over the momentum to later in the day as he fell 3 and 2 to 2021 Trans-Miss Amateur champ Derek Hitchner, a Pepperdine golfer who is ranked No. 51 in the world among amateurs.

In exiting in the round of 16, Biwer matched the U.S. Am accomplishment of CU golfer David Oraee in 2015.  

CU’s Justin Biwer hits a tee shot Thursday at the U.S. Amateur. (Photo: CU coach Roy Edwards)

Hitchner won the first two holes with pars and did likewise on No. 8, building a 3-up lead. But Biwer rebounded with wins at holes 9 and 12 — with a par and birdie, respectively — to narrow the deficit to 1 down. After the two players tied 13 with pars, Hitchner prevailed on 14 with a par and 15 with a birdie to get back to 3 up. Then pars by both competitors on 16 ended the match.

Biwer wasn’t quite as sharp as earlier in the championship as he finished 3 over par through 17 holes against Hitchner, who was 1 under.

In Thursday’s round of 32, Biwer pulled away down the stretch to beat Walker Isley of Oak Island, N.C., a University of North Carolina-Wilmington golfer, 2 and 1. After the match was tied through 13 holes, Biwer won 14 with a birdie and 16 with a par before closing things out with a tying par on No. 17.

Biwer, who never trailed in the match, was 1 under through 17 holes vs. Isley.

Next year’s U.S. Amateur will be held in Colorado at Cherry Hills Country Club.

The best amateurs in the world will be at Cherry Hills next summer for the U.S. Amateur. (Photo: CU coach Roy Edwards)

Here are the results for all the players with strong Colorado ties who competed in the U.S. Amateur:


Derek Hitchner of Minneapolis def. CU golfer Justin Biwer of San Diego, 3 and 2


CU golfer Justin Biwer of San Diego def. Walker Isley of Oak Island, N.C., 2 and 1


David Puig of Spain def. Griffin Barela of Lakewood, 1 up

CU golfer Justin Biwer of San Diego def. Khavish Varadan of Malaysia, 2 and 1


Advance to Match Play

14. Griffin Barela of Lakewood 70-72–142

21. CU golfer Justin Biwer 70-73–143

Failed to Advance to Match Play

121. Cole Nygren of Longmont 78-72–150

136. Gavin Hagstrom of Fort Collins/CSU 77-74–151

151. CU golfer Dylan McDermott 74-78—152

208. Dillon Stewart of Fort Collins 77-78–155

222. DU golfer Carson Griggs 75-81–156

254. Sam Marley of Centennial 82-76–158

For all the scores from the U.S. Am, CLICK HERE.