-By Rory Sharrock
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (August 12, 2014) — After two competitive days of stroke play, the trophy is still up for grabs at the 114th U.S. Amateur Championship.
But medalist honors have been awarded as players will wait until the morning to see which hopefuls will slide into the final four remaining spots in the match play tournament.
Monday’s action concluded with a three-way tie atop the leadersboard at six-under par. On Tuesday, the second-round scores reflected a two-way draw with local favorite Lee McCoy of Cartersville, Ga. and Taylor Moore of Edmond, Okla. in a dead heat at eight-under par.
The two will share the honor of medalist at the United States Amateur.
McCoy, who plays collegiately at the University of Georgia, posted six birdies playing on the Highlands course. He had a rough going on hole 17, making double bogey on the par-three. However, his birdie on the par-five 18th was just what the doctor ordered after his previously disastrous hole.
Playing and performing well at the U.S. Amateur is special for any golfer. For McCoy, adding to the fact this prestigious tournament is taking place in his home state is icing on the cake.
“It’s awesome. I've got so many ‘Go Dawgs’ out there on the golf course today, it was unbelievable,” said McCoy. “I didn't hear any ‘Go Jackets’ [Georgia Tech] from anybody, so that was good. It’s awesome to be so close to home, and I've got plenty of friends and family out here to support me this week.”
Moore entered the clubhouse earlier in the afternoon with a two-stroke lead over his nearest competitor. The University of Arkansas star shot two-under for the day while also playing on the Highlands Course. Moore had a rough start to his round, making back-to-back bogeys on holes two and three. However, despite the initial struggles, he managed to collect his thoughts and go on an impressive run, stringing together four-of-five birdies to close out the front nine. After opening the back nine with a bogey and birdie, he parred out the remaining holes to take the clubhouse lead.
“I've been playing well coming in, so I just wanted to stay patient out there and give myself some opportunities, and I did that,” said Moore. “I missed a couple greens. I wasn't as sharp as I was yesterday, but I held it together, stayed patient and finished well today [Tuesday]. I feel like the wind works differently on this course [Highland]. Holes run a different way, and the wind picked up kind of on my back nine. It was good to see that and get used to that for the rest of the week.”
Five players are locked in a tie for third place at five-under par: Cheng-Tsung Pan of Chinese Taipei, Jimmy Beck of Columbus, Ga., Sam Burns of Shreveport, La., Jonathan Garrick of Atherton, Calif. and Will Zalatoris of Plano, Texas.
The remaining players in the top-10 all stand at four-under for the tournament: Jimmy Mullen of England, Chris Waters of Atlanta, Ga., Taylor Pendrith of Canada, Gavin Green of Malaysia and Sam Horsfield of England.
The 17 players currently tied for 61st place will head to the Riverside course on Wednesday morning for a sudden death playoff to determine the four remaining spots left to fill in match play bracket. Play will begin at 8.00 am EST.