AURORA, Colo. (July 17, 2008)--Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., defeated 2007 runner-up Cody Paladino of Kensington, Conn., 4 and 3, to highlight the 16 winners in the second round of match play at the 2008 U.S. Amateur Public Links at Murphy Creek Golf Course.
Fowler, 19, made the cut at the 2008 U.S. Open and used that as a confidence booster coming into the amateur summer season.
Corey Nagy, a semifinalist in 2007, advanced to the third round at Murphy Creek Golf Cours. (John Mummert/USGA)
"It showed I could hang around,” Fowler said of his performance at Torrey Pines. “It was a good learning experience and gave me some confidence going into the summer.”
In defeating Paladino, 19, Fowler never trailed and was the stroke play equivalent of 2 under par. He made his first birdie from 12 feet at the par-5 12th to take a 3-up advantage. After losing the 13th with a bogey, he closed out Paladino with winning birdies on the 14th and 15th.
"If I win this it would be another jump start to the summer after the Sunnehanna (Amateur which he won) and the Open,” Fowler said. “That would help because I’ve got a three-week stretch that includes a Nationwide event in Ohio and the U.S. Amateur.”
Corey Nagy, 19, of Charlotte, N.C., who was a semifinalist in 2007, also advanced with a 4-and-3 win over Patrick Lundy of Little River, S.C.
Pat Grady, 22, of Broomfield, the only remaining player from Colorado, defeated Zach Sebert of Grove City, Iowa, 2 up, by winning the last three holes.
Billy Horschel, 21, of Gainesville, Fla., a member of the 2007 USA Walker Cup team, was defeated in 21 holes by Jack Newman of Des Moines, Iowa. Dan Whitaker, of Cle Elum, Wash., the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up, also lost.
Play continues with the third round Thursday afternoon and the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds on Friday. The 36-hole championship final is set for Saturday, with the winner earning an invitation to play in the 2009 Masters Tournament.
Quarterfinalists are exempt from qualifying for the 2009 Amateur Public Links Championship at Jimmie Austin Golf Course in Norman, Okla., July 13-18.
The Amateur Public Links Championship is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.