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USGA Boy's Junior: Medalist, Def. Champ Advance

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (July 19, 2006) – Medalist and 2005 semifinalist Arnond Vongvanij and defending champion Kevin Tway and 2004 winner Sihwan Kim won matches to advance to the second round of match play at the 2006 U.S. Junior Amateur at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.

Vongvanij, 17, of Bradenton, Fla., defeated the youngest player in the field, 13-year-old David Flynn of Elk Grove Village, Ill, 2 up, despite losing a 4-up edge and holding only a one-hole advantage with three holes to play.

“To have these two shake hands on the 18th green is truly remarkable,” said Flynn’s father, Ross.

However, it took what junior golf All-American Vongvanij called his best shot of the week, a 5-wood to 5 feet on the 18th hole, to seal the match. After hooking his drive and punching out, Vongvanij, who is known as Bank, hit a 225-yard approach. Following Flynn’s missed birdie putt, Vongvanij two-putted for the victory.

“We never know who could catch on fire and birdie out,” Vongvanij said of losing his 4-up lead. “I did throw away a couple of holes and he made some birdies and that left me with 1-up and that was really close.”

Vongvanij, who along with Rickie Fowler, shot stroke-play’s lowest round (67) Tuesday, felt he was a target as the medalist.  “I try not to think about it,” Vongvanij said. “But it is tougher because you are the medalist and everyone is aiming to beat you. I try not to think about it.

Medalist Arnond Vongvanij got a strong challenge from 13-year-old David Flynn, but held off the 2006 U.S. Junior's youngest contestant for a 2-up victory in the first round of match play at Rancho Santa Fe G.C. (John Mummert/USGA)

Defending champion Tway, 17, of Edmond, Okla., defeated Clayton Rotz, 17, of Chambersburg, Pa., 2 and 1.  His father, Bob, is a PGA Tour player and winner of the 1986 PGA Championship. 

Never trailing, he built a 3-up lead through 10 holes and cruised home as he moved his Junior Amateur match play mark to 7-0.

Kim, 17, of Buena Park, Calif., knocked off Ryan Sirman of Tyler, Texas, 4 and 2.  The pair reached the 10th tee all square but the broad-shouldered Kim then won holes 10, 11 and 12 and then birdied the 16th to close out the match.

“I was hitting my driver everywhere,” Kim said. “My first nine I didn’t hit a fairway. We were all square after nine and I was pretty mad. Then, I went 1 up, 2 up, 3 up.”

Tadd Fujikawa, 15, of Honolulu, Hawaii, who was the youngest U.S. Open player in history at Winged Foot Golf Club near New York this June, edged Jack Fields of Southern Pines, N.C., in 19 holes.

“I grinded it out. I played smart,” Fujikawa said. “It was blow for blow every single hole.”

He was 2 down through five holes and fought his way to all square and then 2 up through 15 holes but lost 16 and 17 when bogeys results from failed up-and-down opportunities.

The biggest surprise of the day was a 1-up victory for William Miller of Venetia, Pa., over highly regarded Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla.

The low 64 scorers qualify for match play, which consists of six rounds and began Wednesday and ends with Saturday’s 36-hole championship final.  All matches before the final are 18 holes.

The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are solely for amateurs. Past champions include Tiger Woods (1991, 1992, 1993), David Duval (1989), Gay Brewer (1949) and Mason Rudolph (1950).

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. – Results from Wednesday’ first round of match play at the 2006 U.S. Junior Amateur, conducted by the United States Golf Association, played at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club (6,936 yards, par 72):


Round Of 64

Upper Bracket
Arnond Vongvanij, Bradenton, Fla.  (136) d. David Flynn, Elk Grove Village, Ill. (150), 2 up
Danny Lee, New Zealand  (146) d. T .J. Kua, Lihue, Hawaii  (146), 6 and 5
Chris Hamm, Fredericksburg, Va.  (144) d. Peter Gibbs, Granite Bay, Calif.  (149), 3 and 2
Robbie Ziegler, Canby, Ore.  (144) d. Lion An, Alpharetta, Ga.  (148), 4 and 2
Richard Lee, Chandler, Ariz.  (149) d.  Joe David, Madison, Tenn.  (141), 2 and 1
Harris English, Thomasville, Ga.  (145) d. Mason Jacobs, Metropolis, Ill.  (147), 2 up
Cody Gribble, Dallas, Texas  (142) d. Brent Whitehead, Marietta, Ga.  (149), 3 and 2
Wes Roach, Knoxville, Tenn.  (147) d. Tyler Weworski, Carlsbad, Calif.  (145), 5 and 4
Corey Nagy, Charlotte, N.C.  (139) d. Clark Palmer, Augusta, Ga. (150), 4 and 3
Jean-Philippe Paiement, Canada  (146) d. Cody Paladino, Kensington, Conn.  (147), 3 and 1
Kevin Tway, Edmond, Okla.  (143) d. Clayton Rotz, Chambersburg, Pa.  (149), 2 and 1
Christopher Deforest, Cottekill, N.Y.  (148) d. Cory Whitsett, Houston, Texas  (144), 2 up
Wesley Graham, Port Orange, Fla.  (140) d. Kent Bulle, Glasgow, Ky. (150), 6 and 4
Hyun Seok Lim, Korea  (147) d. Hunter Howell, Raeford, N.C.  (146), 3 and 2
Sean Maekawa, Paauilo, Hawaii  (143) d. Scott Pinckney, Anthem, Ariz.  (149), 2 and 1
Drew Kittleson, Scottsdale, Ariz.  (144) d. Ravi Patel, Naperville, Ill.  (148), 4 and 3

Lower Bracket
Philip Francis, Scottsdale, Ariz.  (137) d. Peter Williamson, Hanover, N.H. (150), 6 and 5
Brad Schneider, Tampa, Fla.  (146) d. Aaron Sherry, Ft Myers, Fla.  (146), 20 holes
Morgan Hoffmann, Wyckoff, N.J.  (149) d. Josh Jones, The Colony, Texas  (143), 3 and 2
Eric Mina, Fremont, Calif.  (148) d. Daniel Stanley, Boiling Springs, S.C.  (144), 19 holes
Sihwan Kim, Buena Park, Calif.  (141) d. Ryan Sirman, Tyler, Texas (150), 4 and 2
Bo Hoag, Columbus, Ohio  (145) d. Wesley Bryan, Chapin, S.C.  (147), 2 up
Joe Monte, Chantilly, Va.  (149) d. Matthew Pierce Jr, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.  (142), 1 up
John Douglas Archibald, Simi Valley, Calif.  (145) d. Michael Ballo Jr, Springdale, Conn. (148), 2 and 1
Rickie Fowler, Murrieta, Calif.  (137) d.  John Peterson, Fort Worth, Texas (150), 4 and 3
Andrew Putnam, University Place, Wash.  (146) d. Julian Suri, St Augustine, Fla.  (146), 3 and 1
Tyler Ichikawa, Los Altos, Calif.  (149) d. Tommy Chunghao Mou, Chinese Taipei, (143), 2 and 1
Tadd Fujikawa, Honolulu, Hawaii  (144) d. Jack Fields, Southern Pines, N.C.  (148), 19 holes
Steve Ziegler, Broomfield, Colo. (150) d. Sang Yi, Carrollton, Texas  (140), 3 and 2
Alex Volpenhein, Edgewood, Ky.  (147) d. Ajeetesh Sandhu, India  (146), 4 and 3
William Miller, Venetia, Pa.  (149) d. Peter Uihlein, Bradenton, Fla.  (143), 1 up
William Cauley, Jacksonville, Fla.  (148) d. John Hahn, Hudson, Ohio  (145), 3 and 2

ABOUT THE U.S. Junior Amateur

While it is not the oldest competition, the U.S. Junior Amateur is considered the premier junior competition, having been around since 1948. The event is open to male golfers who have not reached their 18th birthday prior to the close of competition and whose USGA Handicap Index does not exceed 6.4. The U.S. Junior is one of 13 national championship conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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