LAKE FOREST, Ill. (Aug. 3, 2016) -- They say following up a really low round with another one is really hard. Heck, one year at the U.S. Open Mike Donald famously went from being the darling of the media after a first round 65 to missing the cut after a second round 86.
But there were none of those worry's today for Florida Gator Sam Horsfield, he just didn't have the magic of hitting 17 greens and making 8 birdies like he did enroute to his opening round 63.
Today he posted 7 bogeys against 3 birdies for a round of 4-over 75. That puts Horsfield on top of the leaderboard after 36-holes at 4-under 138, with a marathon day of 36 on Thursday before the sweet 16 are determined for match play.
A single shot back is a solid group of players that includes Michael DeMorat (Merritt Island, Florida); University of Texas star golfer Doug Ghim (a USA Palmer Cup team member); Mid-Amateur standout Todd Mitchell of Illinois; Florida high school player Won Jun Lee, and LSU standout Eric Ricard.
DeMorat took advantage of a morning tee time to shoot a 3-under 68, one of the Wednesday's lowest rounds.
The highlight of DeMorat’s day was his chip-in for eagle on the 357-yard, par-4 13th. With the wind at his back, he drove it 20 yards short of the green and used his 58-degree wedge to hole out for a 2 to get to 3 under.
“That got me going,” said DeMorat, a junior at Liberty. “I felt safe to make the cut, so I kind of relaxed.”The low 44 players and ties advance to the final 36 holes Thursday. Match play starts Friday and concludes Saturday.
After posting a 4-over 75 in the first round, Patrick Martin, of Birmingham, Alabama, needed a low score to survive the first cut. He did just that Wednesday morning with his 4-under 67 that put him at even par 142, well under the cut of 145.
“Yesterday, [it was about] getting acclimated to being in competition again,” said Martin, a sophomore at Vanderbilt who last played competitively July 11 at the Players Amateur. “[I made] a couple of mistakes, and if you do that out here, you’re going to make scores you don’t want to make. You are going to make bogey pretty quick. I was a little off yesterday, and I made bogeys I shouldn’t have.”
One notable player (and there were many) that missed the cut was the red-hot Will Zalatoris of Texas and Wake Forest University. Zalatoris, who in July won the Pacific Coast Amateur and Trans-Miss Am, posted 148 to finish 3 higher than the number.