Three Pac-12ers advance to round of 32 at U.S. Amateur
Cal’s Brandon Hagy, Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers and Washington’s Charlie Hughes all advanced to the second round of match play at the U.S. Amateur Championship in Brookline, Mass on Wednesday. Hagy, Rodgers and Hughes will play in the round of 32 Thursday and will play another 18 later in the day in the Sweet 16 should they win their second-round matches. The quarterfinals will take place Friday, followed by the semifinals on Saturday and a 36-hole championship Sunday.
Central Florida’s Ricardo Gouveia gave Mr. Hagy all he could handle before falling to the Desimone disciple in 19 holes. Seeded 23rd, the Golden Knight holed a bunker shot to go 1-up through 15, but Hagy answered back by birdieing the next hole to get all square with two to play. It looked like the Golden Bear would take the match in regulation, but Gouveia drilled a long putt to save par on 18 and force a 19th hole, where Hagy would finally put the match away. With the win, the 42nd-seeded Hagy will face the 55th-seeded Scottie Scheffler, who also needed extra golf to beat 10th-seeded Stewart Jolly (20 holes). The Hagy-Scheffler clash is slated for a 6:20 a.m. PT start.
The 41st-seeded Michael Weaver wasn’t as fortunate, falling to No. 24 Greg Eason (also of Central Florida) 3 & 2. Never leading in the match, Weaver battled back from 2 down after five holes to get all square halfway home. However, Eason quickly retook the lead with a birdie on No. 10 and created further separation by winning the 13th and 14th holes.
The 56th-seeded Patrick Rodgers will have a chance to avenge Weaver’s loss tomorrow after “upsetting” ninth-seeded Sean Dale, a guy he lost to in the Western Amateur just 11 days prior (seedings are determined by where golfers finished on the leader board in stroke play, not by their actual amateur ranking). It was a bit of a topsy-turvy match for Rodgers, who had to survive a playoff earlier in the day to just make it to the round of 64. Rodgers held a three-hole edge after five but double-bogeyed two of the next four and eventually let Dale even it up on the 10th. However, Dale returned the favor with two double-bogeys and one triple-bogey over the course of the final six holes and was unable to take advantage of Rodgers’ short tee shot on the par-3 16th by matching Rodgers’ eventual 5-spot. With the Stanford man up three holes and just two to play, this one was over like Ken Harrelson calling a Chicago White Sox victory. Rodgers advances to face Eason at 5:00 a.m. PT Thursday morning.
Continuing the trend that match-play seedings really don’t mean much, 29th-seeded Jim Liu fell to 36th-seeded Chelso Barrett 3 & 2. An incoming frosh to The Farm, Liu took an early lead when Barrett bogeyed the par-3 second. However, the incoming frosh to Texas Christian bounced back with a birdie on the par-4 fourth and never let Liu reclaim the lead. The match was played at either a one-hole Barrett advantage or all square until the 14th hole, when Liu carded a 6 on the par-4 14th. Liu double-bogeyed the very next hole to fall behind by three with just three to play and couldn’t make up any ground on the 16th.
There was plenty of chalk to be had, however. Charlie Hughes’ streak of strong play in Massachusetts continued Wednesday after the 15th-seeded Husky knocked off No. 50 Ian Davis 3 & 2. It was a match in which Hughes never trailed the Oklahoma State Cowboy, taking the lead for good on the 11th with a bogey to Davis’ double. Up two with three to play, Hughes pared the par-3 16th, Davis bogeyed, and Hughes booked himself an extra night’s rest in Brookline. With the dub for U-Dub, Hughes will face another guy who played true to seed on Wednesday, No. 18 Sebastian Cappelen out of Denmark. That round-of-32 tee time is 6:00 a.m. PT.
Like Patrick Rodgers, Gerrit Chambers had to sweat out a playoff in order to make match play, qualifying for it with a bogey on the par-4 14th that ensured he would not have to play another playoff hole. Unlike Rodgers, however, Chambers will not be moving to the round of 32 after the 60th-seeded Dawg fell to No. 5 Matt Fitzpatrick 4 & 3. The Englishman Fitzpatrick was in command for just about the entire match, taking the lead for good on the fifth hole and taking a two-hole lead for good on the sixth.
The SoCal boys are also finished in Brookline, as Matt Pinizzotto of UCLA and Rico Hoey of USC lost their round-of-64 matches. No. 43 Pinizzotto was in control down the stretch, taking a one-hole lead into the 17th against No. 22 Brandon Matthews. However, the Bruin’s back-to-back double bogeys on the last two holes were too many strokes to give away, and Matthews won 1 up. The 21st-seeded Hoey had much less drama in his bout with No. 44 Bobby Wyatt, losing 4 & 3 in a match that the incoming Trojan frosh trailed from the seventh hole on.