DALY CITY, Calif. — Satch Herrmann never trailed during his 2-and-1 victory over USC graduating senior Eric Sugimoto and successfully advanced to the round-of-16 at the 104th California Amateur.
The medalist and No. 1 seed, who shot eight-under 136 in two rounds of stroke play qualifying, got on the board with a birdie at the par-3 third hole. As the match hopped between 1-up and all-square, Herrmann won hole 13 with a par to go 2-up before matching pars on the 17th secured the 2-and-1 victory for the former Cal State Northridge golfer. He'll will face UC Irvine graduating senior Pete Fernandez in Thursday's second round.
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Though seeds 2 through 4 won their opening matches, including UCLA senior Jake Knapp, high-school golfer Puwit Anupansuebsai, and Cal-Berkeley sophomore KK Limbhasut, the next four fell to much lower seeds during Wednesday's first-round matches at Lake Merced Golf Club.
The highest seed to be defeated was soon-to-be Pepperdine freshman Sahith Theegala, who despite a valiant back-nine comeback attempt, fell to Stanford sophomore Franklin Huang. Theegala was as many as 4-down through eight holes, but forced the match back to all-square before Huang, a Poway native, birdied 18 to win 1-up.
The majority of matches on Wednesday went down to the wire, with four of the 16 needing extra holes and another eight reaching at least the 17th or 18th hole.
The 21-hole bout between Fernandez and his playing competitor Perry Cohen was the longest of the day, ending when Fernandez birdied the par-3 third for the second time that day. Cohen, a sophomore at St. Mary's College, was 1-up with three to play before Fernandez knocked in birdies at 16 and 17. Cohen answered right back with a birdie of his own at 18 to force extra holes.
The shortest match belonged to maybe the most intriguing to start the day. Dan Sullivan, a 49-year old from Pasadena, drew the high-school sophomore Anupansuebsai and was defeated by the Thailand native 4-and-3. Anupansuebsai, who goes to high school in Anaheim, closed out Sullivan with a par on 15.
Like Wednesday morning, Herrmann and his competitor will be first off the tee as the round-of-16 begins Thursday morning. Second off will be the second consecutive day Shotaro Ban of San Jose will face a Cal teammate. After defeating sophomore Ben Doyle in the first round, Ban will square off with fellow senior Keelan Kilpatrick in round two.