USGA Publinx: Kim Mounts Another Comeback
Bremerton, Wash. – Tim Feenstra, 17, of Lynden, Wash., Anthony Kim, 21, of Traverse City, Mich., Kevin Larsen, 21, of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Casey Watabu, 22, of Kapaa, Hawaii, all won quarterfinal matches Friday to advance at the 81st U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship Friday, being played at the par-72, 7,061-yard Gold Mountain Golf Club.
For the second time in the championship, Kim, a 2005 USA Walker Cupper, needed to mount a big comeback.
|Tim Feenstra pitches to the sixth hole during his quarterfinal victory at Gold Mountain Golf Club Friday. (Robert Walker/USGA)
In Thursday’s second-round match against Rory Hie, Kim faced a 3-down deficit after 10 holes but came back to win in 19 holes.
In his quarterfinal match Friday against Matt Harmon, 21, of Grand Rapids, Mich., Kim again fell behind, down four holes after 10. But he chipped away at the lead, winning with birdies at the 11th and 14th holes and a par at the 15th. He squared the match when he made birdie to win the par-4 17th.
At the 19th hole, the par-4 first, Harmon got into trouble when he hit his tee shot right. He was unable to get up and down and Kim was able to record a conceded par for the victory.
Kim next faces Larsen, who continued his impressive play with a 4-and-3 victory over Matt Savage, 19, of Louisville, Ky. In four matches, Larsen has yet to go past the 15th hole, something that surprises even him.
You never expect to make it through, I don’t want to say easily, but by this margin,” said Larsen. “It’s been a lot of fun and like I say my game’s been feeling good and I’ve been keeping it in play.”
Savage took a brief lead when he won the third hole with a birdie, the first time in the championship Larsen trailed. He came back to square it two holes later and the match remained close until Larsen won three consecutive holes, starting at the 12th, to take a commanding lead.
Despite falling behind for the first time, he didn’t make any changes to his strategy.
“I stuck to the game plan of making pars,” said Larsen. “That game plan stays the same all the time. It gives
you that comfort level whether you’re up or down you can stick to that plan.”
|Casey Watabu watches his ball during his quarterfinal victory over Daniel Im. (Robert Walker/USGA)
Feenstra fell behind early against 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Sihwan Kim, 17, of Buena Park, Calif., but took the lead for good when Kim double bogeyed the 17th hole. Feenstra earned a 1-up victory when the
two traded pars at the 18th.
In the last quarterfinal match, Watabu never trailed against Daniel Im, 21, of Fullerton, Calif. The match was close throughout, but Watabu took the lead for good with a par at the 11th. He added to the lead with a par at the 13th and closed out Im with a birdie at the 17th.
Watabu and Feenstra face off in the afternoon’s second semifinal match.
The 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship continues with the semifinal round Friday afternoon and concludes with Saturday’s 36-hole final match.
The U.S. Amateur Public Links is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Beth Murrison of USGA Media Relations. E-mail her at email@example.com with any questions or comments.
Bremerton, Wash. – Results following the quarterfinal round of match play Friday at the 2006U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at the 7,061-yard, par-72 Gold Mountain Golf Club:
Kevin Larsen, Santa Barbara, Calif. (146) def. Matt Savage, Louisville, Ky. (145), 4 and 3
Anthony Kim, Traverse City, Mich. (143) vs. Matt Harmon, Grand Rapids, Mich. (144)
Tim Feenstra, Lynden, Wash. (147) def. Sihwan Kim, Buena Park, Calif. (144), 1 up
Casey Watabu, Kapaa, Hawaii (148) def. Daniel Im, Fullerton, Calif. (147), 3 and 1
Bremerton, Wash. – Pairings for Friday’s semifinal round of match play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at the 7,061-yard, par-72 Gold Mountain Golf Club:
12:30 p.m. - Kevin Larsen, Santa Barbara, Calif. (146) vs. Anthony Kim, Traverse City, Mich. (143)
12:45 p.m. - Tim Feenstra, Lynden, Wash. (147) vs. Casey Watabu, Kapaa, Hawaii (148)