Chaska, Minn. (August 23, 2006) -– Jonathan Moore of Vancouver, Wash., this year’s individual NCAA titlist, was one of three members of the Division I champion Oklahoma State golf team to advance in first-round matches Wednesday at the U.S. Amateur at Hazeltine National Golf Club.
Moore, 21 and a qualifier for this year’s U.S. Open, built an early 6-up lead through eight holes in defeating Skip Berkmeyer of St. Louis, Mo., 6 and 5. Moore was 4-under-par through his 13 holes, with the normal concessions given in match play. Teammates Ryan Posey, 22, of Dallas, Texas, and Pablo Martin, 20, of Spain, were also among the 32 who advanced, both in extra-hole matches.
"After losing three holes in a row, I was happy I still had holes to play," said Martin, the 2003 Spanish Amateur champion and 2005 Western Amateur runner-up.
Stroke-play medalist Billy Horschel, 19, of Grant, Fla., finished strong in ousting Ray Sheedy of Keymar, Md., 3 and 2. Horschel was even par through his 16 holes.
"Everyone is gunning for me, so I just have to be prepared for it," said Horschel, who shot 60 in his first round of stroke play at the Chaska Town Course. "But if I shoot even par, I’ll win matches."
Play continues Thursday at the 7,473-yard Hazeltine course with the second and third rounds of match play. The Championship runs through Sunday.
Two USGA champions; Kevin Tway, 18, of Edmond, Okla., and Casey Watabu, 22, of Kapaa, Hawaii, also advanced. Tway, the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur winner and the son of PGA Tour pro Bob Tway, moved on by beating Lloyd Saltman of Scotland, 4 and 3. Watabu, the reigning U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, edged James Love of Canada, 1 up.
One of three 17-year-olds who advanced was Oliver Fisher of England, who in 2005 became the youngest player ever (40 years) selected to the Great Britain and Ireland team to play in the Walker Cup Match, an amateur team competition against the USA. Fisher never trailed in beating Jim Renner of Plainfield, Mass., 3 and 2.
However, Fisher and Richard Ramsay were two of four GB&I team members from 2005 to advance. One Walker-Cupper from the USA stayed alive – Trip Kuehne of Dallas, Texas, who is best remembered for losing to Tiger Woods in the 1994 Amateur final.
Kuehne, 34 and a successful financial fund manager, coasted by Chris Rogers of Franklin, Tenn., 5 and 3.
Among the top matches in Thursday’s second round, Kuehne and Watabu will face each other. Ryan Yip of Canada, a quarterfinalist from a year ago, will face Tway.
The Amateur is the oldest of the 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Craig Smith, director of USGA media relations. E-mail him with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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