Jordan Niebrugge falls in Round of 16 at U.S. Public Links
Follow Scores from the Quarterfinals and Semifinals »
by Jack Persons, AmateurGolf.com
NEWTON, Kan. (July 16, 2014) -- Three co-medalists remain at the U.S. Amateur Public Links, and one had quite the day.
Doug Ghim, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, went 23 holes with defending champion Jordan Niebrugge in the Round of 16, and came out on top.
“We kind of hung onto each other like parasites,” Ghim said in an interview with the USGA. “Neither one would go away. If one of us looked like he was going to win, the other one just clung on and somehow got the up and down.”
Ghim started hot, canning birdies on five of the first seven holes to take a quick four-up lead, but it was obvious the reigning champ would not go down easy.
Niebrugge fought back by winning four of the next five holes to get back to all square through 12 holes. Ghim would respond by making birdie on the 481-yard 14th hole to take a one-up lead, but Niebrugge answered quickly with a birdie of his own to square the match once again.
The two tied the final three, forcing a playoff, but only after Niebrugge curled in a 10-footer to send it to extra holes.
Pars tied the first four playoff holes, but Niebrugge finally lost the magic touch and bogeyed the 23rd hole of the match, giving the quarterfinals berth to Ghim.
“From the way I started the week, I was pretty proud of how I stuck in there,” Niebrugge explained. “Especially today, being 4-down through seven. I clawed back and was able to get it to even, but just couldn’t get it done. All the credit to him.”
The other co-medalists, Rico Hoey and Byron Meth, both won their round of 32 matches in the morning, then took 3 & 2 victories in the afternoon round of 16 against Matt Record and last year’s medalist Garrett Rank, respectively.
Three Californians remain in the mix for the quarterfinals, the most of any state. Hoey hails from Rancho Cucamonga, Meth from San Diego, and 2013 Trans-Miss champion Bryson Dechambeau calls Clovis home.
The quarters and semis are set for Friday, with the 36-hole final to be played on Saturday.
-photo courtesy of the USGA