US Amateur: Weather Delay Doesn't Stop Horschel
24 Aug 2006
see also: U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, Riviera Country Club


Chaska, Minn. (August 24, 2006) – Medalist Billy Horschel, 19, of Grant, Fla., and the two youngest remaining competitors, Oliver Fisher of England and Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., were among the 16 players who advanced to the third round of match play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur Thursday at stormy Hazeltine National Golf Club.

Horschel, a sophomore at the University of Florida, shot a USGA record 11-under-par 60 Monday in stroke play. He is a first-team All-America and a participant in the 2006 U.S. Open.

Second round play was suspended at 8:18 a.m. because of dangerous weather in the area. Play was resumed at 12:42 p.m. after a delay of four hours and 24 minutes. Because of the lengthy suspension Thursday, the schedule was amended and the third and quarterfinal round matches will be played Friday beginning at 8 a.m. CDT.

"There’s a bull’s eye on me," said Horschel, who defeated David Merkow of Hartland, Wis., 3 and 1. "Some may say there isn’t. But I’m the one who shot 60. I’m the medalist, so everyone wants to gun for the top guy. Someone’s lying if they say they’re not gunning for the top person."

Horschel never trailed and was 4-up through 14 holes in beating Merkow, the 2006 Big Ten Player of the Year from Northwestern University.

"The key (Thursday) was I drove the ball a lot better," Horschel said. "(Wednesday), after my round I still was not confident with my driver. I found something that worked and I just stuck with it. I drove the ball about the best I have all week compared to Chaska (Monday) where I drove it just about as good."

Fisher, 17, was the youngest player in his side’s history at the 2005 Walker Cup, a biennial international team competition between Great Britain and Ireland and the USA. He was also the runner-up at the English Amateur this summer.

"It was obviously the chance of a lifetime to come over and play Hazeltine and compete in the U.S. Amateur," said Fisher. "To win (Friday) and to keep on trucking on and winning my games is what I want to do. Hopefully, by the end of the week we'll be there on Sunday and have a chance to win. That's the main goal this week."

At 37, Mark Strickland of Woodstock, Ga., is the oldest player left in the 2006 U.S. Amateur. He rallied to beat 2006 Western Amateur champion Bronson La'Cassie in 19 holes in Thursday's second round.

Fowler, 17, a junior golf All-American who will be a senior at Murrietta Valley High School and the 2006 California scholastic champion, defeated Andrew DiBitetto, 20, of Rochester, N.Y., 5 and 4.

"I'm representing all of the juniors this year; they're all rooting for me," said Fowler, who is exactly three months younger than Fisher. "I feel like the underdog this year."

The two remaining USGA champions in the field, Kevin Tway, 18, of Edmond, Okla. (2005 Junior Amateur), and 22-year-old Casey Watabu of Kapaa, Hawaii (2006 Amateur Public Links), were eliminated. Tway lost to 2005 quarterfinalist Ryan Yip, 21, of Canada, 6 and 5; and Watabu lost to 34-year-old financial planner Trip Kuehne of Dallas, Texas, 2 and 1.

Yip plays Horschel in his third-round match Friday morning.

"I don't really know who he is," Yip said of Horschel. "I only know he shot 60. So, he's a great player. So hopefully, I have no idea what to expect. I won’t worry what he's doing because I can only control myself.

Others who did not advance were 2006 NCAA Division I individual champion Jonathan Moore, 21, of Portland, Ore., who was defeated by left-handed Kyle Davis, 20, of Kennett Square, Pa., 2 and 1; and University of Minnesota golfer Bronson La’Cassie of Australia, who lost to 37-year-old sports equipment store owner Mark Strickland of Woodstock, Ga., in 19 holes

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 Pete Kowalski, manager of USGA media relations. E-mail him with questions or comments at pkowalski@usga.org

Chaska, Minn. – Results from Thursday’s second round of match play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur, conducted by the United States Golf Association, played at Hazeltine National Golf Club (7,473 yards, par 72):

Upper Bracket
Billy Horschel, Grant, Fla. (138) d. David Merkow, Hartland, Wis. (145), 3 and 1
Ryan Yip, Canada (143) d. Kevin Tway, Edmond, Okla. (146), 6 and 5
Oliver Fisher, England (142) d. Jim Renner, Plainville, Mass. (145), 1 up
Jonathan Hodge, Jefferson City, Tenn. (147) d. John Hahn, Hudson, Ohio (146), 3 and 2
Matthew Swan, Montgomery, Ala. (147) d. Ryan Posey, Dallas, Texas (145), 2 and 1
Trip Kuehne, Dallas, Texas (144) d. Casey Watabu, Kapaa, Hawaii (146), 2 and 1
John Kelly, Saint Louis, Mo. (145) d. Eddie Olson, Aptos, Calif. (142), 4 and 3
Jon McLean, Weston, Fla. (144) d. Dustin Johnson, Columbia, SC (143), 2 and 1

Lower Bracket
Roberto Castro, Alpharetta, Ga. (147) d. Joseph Bramlett, Saratoga, Calif. (145), 3 and 2
Webb Simpson, Raleigh, N.C. (143) d. Luke Bakke, Little Rock, Ark. (144), 19 holes
Alex Prugh, Spokane, Wash. (142) d. Jeffrey Castle, Towson, Md. (145), 22 holes
Mark Strickland, Woodstock, Ga. (144) d. Bronson La'Cassie, Australia (142), 19 holes
Kyle Davis, Kennett Square, Pa. (141) d Jonathan Moore, Vancouver, Wash. (145), 2 and 1
Richie Ramsay, Scotland (144) d. Antti Ahokas, Finland (143), 2 and 1
Rickie Fowler, Murrieta, Calif. (147) d. Andrew DiBitetto, Rochester, N.Y. (146), 5 and 4
Pablo Martin, Spain (142) d. Greg Carlin, Kensington, Md. (146), 1 up

Chaska, Minn. – Pairings for Friday’s third round of match play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur, conducted by the United States Golf Association, played at Hazeltine National Golf Club (7,473 yards, par 72) all times CDT:

8:00 a.m. -- Billy Horschel, Grant, Fla. (138) vs. Ryan Yip, Canada (143)
8:10 a.m. -- Oliver Fisher, England (142) vs. Jonathan Hodge, Jefferson City, Tenn. (147)
8:20 a.m. -- Matthew Swan, Montgomery, Ala. (147) vs. Trip Kuehne, Dallas, Texas (144)
8:30 a.m. -- John Kelly, Saint Louis, Mo. (145) vs. Jon McLean, Weston, Fla. (144)
8:40 a.m. -- Roberto Castro, Alpharetta, Ga. (147) vs. Webb Simpson, Raleigh, N.C. (143)
8:50 a.m. -- Alex Prugh, Spokane, Wash. (142) vs. Mark Strickland, Woodstock, Ga. (144)
9:00 a.m. -- Kyle Davis, Kennett Square, Pa. (141) vs. Richie Ramsay, Scotland (144)
9:10 a.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Murrieta, Calif. (147) vs. Pablo Martin, Spain (142)

ABOUT THE U.S. Amateur

The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA championship, was first played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. It is the pre-eminent amateur competition in the world. Applications are typically placed online, starting the third week in April at www.usga.org.

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