Scotland's Callum Macaulay showed blistering form in the first match play round of the Amateur Championship, but Sam Hutsby, medalist in the stroke play phase, is out already. Macaulay raced to five up with six holes to play against his compatriot Neil Henderson, and despite a brief fight back the Tulliallan player finished off the match on the par-3 15th hole where he hit a 3-iron to four feet, at which point Henderson conceded the match.
"I hit a few loose shots but generally drove the ball very solid," Macaulay said afterwards. "The course is a bit softer today which lets you play a bit further up the green. And match play lets you be more aggressive, which I really like."
Hutsby fared worse, however, losing 3&2 to T.J. Bordeaux of the USA. From the very beginning, the Englishman never produced the same golf that took him to the top of the leaderboard after the 36-hole stroke play phase of the Championship. A double bogey on the first put him on the back foot immediately, but it was his poor stretch a few holes later that really shook his confidence. Hutsby missed a two-footer on the fifth and three-putted the sixth before missing a six foot putt for birdie on the seventh to leave his American opponent two up. Bordeaux, for his part, never faltered, eventually finishing the match off with a six foot birdie on the 16th.
“T.J.’s short game is really solid, and my putting let me down,” Hutsby said afterwards, admitting that he’d half expected his short putt on the fifth to be conceded.
Bordeaux, a rising sophomore at UOP from Tacoma, Washington, qualified for the British Amateur by winning the Oregon Duck Classic by five shots in March. He know much about his opponent.
“I knew he led the qualifying but I didn’t know anything about him,” Bordeaux said. “I did know I had to step it up a bit and play pretty well to beat him. I was on pins and needles last night just waiting to get out to play.”
While for the past couple of years the top stroke play golfer has got through the first round of the match play, there is a long history of medalists being knocked out in the first round, a fact that Hutsby was unaware of.
“That actually makes me feel a bit better,” he said when told. “Next year I’ll just aim to finish in the top five!”