SAN ANTONIO, Tex. (July 26, 2013) -- On Friday, the 2013 Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship made a transition from the stroke play format used in the qualifying round, to a grueling 36-hole day of match play. 32 players returned to Oak Hills Country Club on Friday with intentions of advancing, but at the end of the day, only eight of them will be left standing. With higher temperatures and firm, fast conditions on the golf course, it was sure to be an exciting day of golf. The round of 32 matches started promptly at 7:30am with qualifying round medalist and #1 seed Clarke Kincaid pitted against qualifying round playoff survivor and #32 seed, Kip Estep. The two players traded punches for the first nine holes, making the turn at all square. On the back nine, Kincaid took the quick 1-up lead on the 10th and never looked back. Kincaid went on to make an eagle on the par-5, 15th hole to increase his lead to 2-up and then finished the match at the 16th with a par to defeat Estep 3&2. Teeing off later in the morning was Oak Hills member Zan Terry and Chris Germann of Austin. Terry, who made it through qualifying as the co-medalist with Kincaid, went 1-down early in the match after making a double bogey on the first hole. Terry went on to make a birdie at the 4th to even the match heading to the 5th hole. Terry would win the 5th, along with two of the last four on the front side to make the turn at 3-up. On the back side, the players took turns winning holes with Terry extending his lead to 4-up on the 14th before ending the match on the 17th hole for a 2&1 victory. Other notable winners in the round of 32 include Ed Sanchez, Aaron Hickman, Colby Harwell, and Mike Booker. Of the 32 players that started the day, 16 would be moving on to the afternoon matches. The round of 16 matches started at 1:00pm, giving players time for some lunch and a quick rest. In the second match of the afternoon, Colby Harwell defeated Peach Reynolds 5&4. Harwell got started early with a birdie on the 2nd hole to take the early 1-up lead. After matching bogeys on the 3rd hole, Harwell went on a five-hole rally that included two birdies and three pars to take a commanding 6-up lead heading into the back nine. Reynolds made an attempt at a comeback with a birdie on the 11th to cut the lead to 5-up but Harwell’s consistent play with 5 pars to start the back nine ended the match at the 14th hole.
The most exciting match of the day came with Oak Hills Country Club member and accomplished amateur, Ed Sanchez, and Oak Hills Country Club employee, John Perez. Sanchez started off strong making a par and a birdie on the first two holes to take an early 2-up lead. Perez, known for being a consistent player, then made a birdie at the 4th hole to cut the lead to 1-up. Sanchez then made a birdie on the difficult 6th hole to get back to 2-up. With a quick response, Perez made another birdie on the 8th hole to cut into the lead before matching pars on the 9th hole. The two would head to the back nine with Sanchez 1-up. Perez got started early on the back nine with some help from Sanchez. With his opponent in trouble, Perez hit a beautiful second shot into the par-5 that settled 25-feet from the hole. Sanchez would concede the hole and the match would move to All Square. The match stayed the same until the 13th hole where par was good enough for Sanchez to regain the 1-up lead. On the 16th hole, Perez made a beautiful birdie putt that broke close to 7-feet to even the match once again. With a quick response on the 17th, Sanchez made a 12-foot birdie of his own to take the 1-up lead into the 18th hole. Both players played their tee shots safely to the green of the difficult par three, but Perez had the clear advantage with Sanchez having to putt over a large ridge with almost no chance of stopping the ball close to the hole. The two-putt par from Perez was good enough to even the match and send it to extra holes. The players returned to the 1st hole and halved the hole with pars after beautiful sand save by Sanchez. They would proceed to the par-3, 2nd, for the 20th hole of the match. Both players missed the green long and left with their tee shots giving them more work than they would have wanted. Sanchez managed to get his pitch shot to 10-feet, leaving a door open for Perez. Perez went on to hit a perfect shot from his difficult like that nestled just inches from the cup for his par. Sanchez had a chance to continue the match with his put but it just slid by the left edge giving Perez the win in 20 holes.
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