Men's Golfers Reavie And Quinney Go Head-to-Head; Nosler Advances
Aug. 22, 2001
Story written by Ken Klavon and Pete Kowalski, USGA.
Atlanta -- Jeff Quinney, 22, of Eugene, Ore., took a step toward reclaiming his U.S. Amateur title by eliminating 2001 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Chez Reavie, 4 and 3, Wednesday at East Lake Golf Club in first-round match play.
When Quinney learned the identity of his first-round opponent Tuesday night, he did a double-take. 'I think about the only name that could be worse was Driscoll the first round,' said Quinney, in reference to James Driscoll, whom he beat on the 39th hole in last year's Amateur final.
Neither Quinney nor Reavie looked forward to facing one another, knowing full well there had to be a loser.
'It's a little different playing a friend,' said Reavie. 'It would have been a lot better to see this kind of match in the final.'
That's what ASU coach Randy Lein told Quinney.
'It was a little frustrating playing Chez,' said Quinney. 'Coach said, 'I'll come back and watch you guys in the final.''
Entering the match, Quinney had the upper hand. Not so much because he won the Amateur last year, but because he had already defeated Reavie, 1 up, in the Sun Devil Cup, which is fast becoming an annual event that pits upper-classmen against freshmen and sophomores, with the prize being dinner. 'I couldn't let a freshman beat me,' joked Quinney.
Both battled nerves from the start. According to friend David Derminio, who did not qualify for match play, Reavie will re-grip and close down on his hands, causing him to pull his shots when he gets anxious. Reavie did precisely that the first three holes, although he did win the first hole.
Quinney pulled ahead on the third hole when he drained a 10-footer for par. After playing nip-and-tuck through the seventh, Quinney moved further ahead. On No. 8, a tight dogleg left, Reavie drove into a bunker left of the fairway. Sitting 130 yards away from the green, he didn't get enough on his shot and fell 15 yards short. Quinney birdied from 6 feet and went 2 up.
By No. 11, it looked as though Quinney would run away with the match. Reavie kept finding bunkers and rough off the tee, while Quinney repeatedly found the fairway. Through 11, he was 4 up.
'I struggled a bit all day,' said Reavie.
On 13, Quinney ran into trouble. His inability to get out of the right rough on back-to-back shots allowed Reavie to win the hole. The key to the match, however, was the next two holes.
Quinney's drive on No. 14 was even more erratic than the one on 13. He pulled his ball far left, where it came to a rest on pine straw among a family of trees that was about 150 yards short. Meanwhile, Reavie was in the middle of the fairway.
Somehow Quinney escaped, his approach landing on the right fringe. He ended up saving par as the two halved.
In a moment of deja vu, Quinney's sliced his drive on 15 and found the same pine straw again. This time his ball settled two feet from a tree. Again, Reavie was in the fairway. Even more impressive than his approach on the previous hole, Quinney fired out, his ball skimming the tree and leaves and finishing 20 yards short of the green.
Quinney, with an up and down for par, won when Reavie missed a 2-footer.
Afterward, a lighthearted Reavie couldn't believe his misfortunes.
'We have a good time when we play, and we help each other when we can,' said Reavie. 'Yesterday Jeff was having trouble squaring his shoulders with his irons and was pulling them, so I was able to help him out. Turns out I helped him beat me.'Quinney continued to work on his game, playing the final three holes with Reavie even their match was over. He said he wanted to be as prepared as possible for future matches. Next up is another former teammate, this one from the Walker Cup. D.J. Trahan, 20, of Inman, S.C., defeated Scott Wingfield of Las Vegas, 4 and 2.
'He hits it pretty far and he's pretty aggressive,' said Quinney. 'So I'm going to have to make some birdies to beat him.'
Other U.S. Walker Cup players Driscoll, 23, of Brookline, Mass., and Nick Cassini, 22, of Atlanta, won their matches as well. Lucas Glover of Greeneville, S.C., was upended by Chris Nallen of Hackettstown, N.J. in a two-hole playoff.
Driscoll survived a scare in defeating Jay Childs, 43, of Kennesaw, Ga., in 19 holes. Childs, a golf company sales representative playing in his first Amateur in 21 years, overcame a 3-down deficit after 10 holes. The match went to all square after the 14th hole on a birdie by Childs. The pair then traded birdies on 15 (Driscoll) and 16 (Childs) before parring 17 and 18.
On the 19th, Driscoll followed Childs' drive into the right rough with a 315-yard tee shot that set up a wedge approach and two putts. Child's second shot was short and left and his chip ran 15 feet past the hole. He missed his par putt.
'I could just tell on the first tee that he was the kind of player that could sneak up on you and the kind of guy you never heard of but could sneak up and do some crazy things at the end of the match -- like I was expecting him to chip in,' said Driscoll. 'I know he's played a long time and has a lot of experience. But, I can't even compare to last year's match so I'm not going to try. But, I am just glad to be playing (Thursday).'Cassini, who played his college golf at Georgia, was a 4 and 3 winner over Ben Portie, 24, of Westminster, Colo.
'I was 2 down after seven holes,' said Cassini. 'I got a little bit worried that maybe my game just wasn't fitting this week to match play. But, I started picking some good targets and making some good swings and I started to play better.'
Other winners included: 1995 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and 2000 quarterfinalist Jerry Courville, 42, of Milford, Conn., Daniel Summerhays, 17, of Farmington, Utah, the youngest remaining contestant, and Bob Godfrey, 27, of Clemson, S.C. Medalist Chris Mudorf lost to Greg Earnhardt of Greensboro, N.C., 1 down.
'It's a bonus from here on out,' said Godfrey, who was second to Mundorf after stroke play.
The only Walker Cup player from Great Britain and Ireland to advance was Jamie Elson of England. Graeme McDowell of N. Ireland lost to Simon Nash of Australia, 3 and 2, and Richard McEvoy of England fell to Camilo Villegas of Colombia , 1 down.Locally, Georgia Tech's Kris Mikkelsen, 21, of Woodstock, Ga., moved on by beating England's David Griffiths, 5 and 4.
The U.S. Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Match play continues Thursday with the second round in the morning, beginning at 7:30 a.m., and the third round in the afternoon, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Thursday's PairingsAtlanta - Pairings with ASU personnel for Thursday's second round of match play at the U.S. Amateur at the 7,091-yard, par 70 East Lake Golf Club (Times are EDT):
9:20 a.m. - D.J. Trahan, Inman, S.C. (137) vs. Jeff Quinney, Eugene, Ore. (142)
8:50 a.m. -- Robert Godfrey, Clemson, S.C. (135) vs. Brian Nosler, Lake Oswego, Ore., (141)
Wednesday's ResultsAtlanta - Results of ASU personnel in first round of match play at the U.S. Amateur, played at the 7,091-yard, par 70 East Lake Golf Club:
Brian Nosler, Lake Oswego, Ore., (141) def. Brian Quackenbush, Fairfax, Va., (141), 1 up