North and South Amateur: Schnell over Gates in Final

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. (July 9, 2006) -- The afternoon of the final match of the 106th North and South Amateur Championship would follow the momentum of the final 6 holes of the morning. Brady Schnell, of Bettendorf, IA began the afternoon with a 2 up advantage and never relinquished it. Robert Gates of College Station, TX fought valiantly, but ultimately could not overcome the impact of the 6-hole stretch of 2 birdies and 4 pars that Schnell put together to close the morning’s play and gain the 2 up match status.

On the 19th hole, Schnell would quickly regain his form from before the break by scoring a birdie 3 to win the hole. Gates would counter on the 20th hole to return the Schnell advantage to 2. On the short par 4 21st hole, Gates would try to gain the momentum of the match back by taking driver. His tee shot would come to rest hole high in the right green-side rough. Not to be outdone, Schnell would attempt the same but come up short of the green. Schnell, who was away and would play first, played a chip shot that lipped out of the hole and came to rest within feet. Gates would attempt the same, but following Schnell’s superb short game effort, would fail to make birdie and lose the hole.

The players halved holes 22 through 24 until Schnell stuffed his approach from the left side of the fairway to within 10 feet on the 25th. Gates approach would land inside the ball of Schnell, but spin backward to 15 feet from the hole. Gates would fail to convert his birdie and have to watch as Schnell increased his lead to 4 holes after making his putt for birdie. Again Gates would counter on the following hole to reduce the lead to 3, but would again fail to shift momentum and find himself 4 down after a Schnell birdie 2 on the par 3 27th.

Holes 28 through 30 were halved following Schnell’s birdie. Schnell would achieve the final status of the match on the 31st hole as Gates failed to save par after missing the green. Schnell would two-putt after hitting the green and extend the lead to 5 holes. Schnell and Gates would halve the 32nd hole to result in the 5&4 Schnell Victory.

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---------- reported earlier: VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. (July 9th, 2006) -- The final match of the 106th North and South Amateur Championship commenced this morning between Robert Gates of College Station, TX and Brady Schnell of Bettendorf, IA. The winner of this match will be crowned Champion and will have survived six straight days of intense competitive golf.

Cautious in the early stages of the match, Gates and Schnell halved the first two holes. Gates then broke through with a birdie 3 on the 3rd hole to take a 1up advantage. The match status stayed the same until play reached the long par 4 8th hole. Gates would score a birdie 3 and increase his margin to a 2-hole advantage. Schnell quickly countered with his own birdie on the par 3 9th to reduce the margin back to a one-hole deficit. Gates reacted and added another birdie at the 10th hole and won the 12th to push the match standing to a 3-hole advantage.

After gathering himself on the tee of the par 4 13th with a 3-hole deficit to overcome, Schnell regained his composure and shifted the momentum of the match with a surreal stretch of five holes. Schnell would birdie the 13th hole, par the 14th and 15th, birdie the 16th and par the 17th to win five consecutive holes and take the lead for the first time in the match. Both players would par the final hole of the morning to equal a Schnell 2 up advantage through the morning round.

ABOUT THE North & South Amateur

The North & South Amateur Championship is the longest consecutively run amateur tournament in the U.S. Its past winners list includes names like Walter Travis, Francis Ouimet, Billy Joe Patton, Jack Nicklaus and Curtis Strange. The field is made up of invited players as well as open applications, from players with a maximum handicap of 5.0. Three rounds of stroke play are followed by four rounds of match play (16 qualifiers) to determine the Champion. All stroke & match play rounds are contested on Pinehurst No. 2.

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