AURORA, Colo. (July 17, 2008)--Corey Nagy of Charlotte, N.C., a semifinalist in 2007, won two matches Thursday to lead the list of eight quarterfinalists at the 2008 U.S. Amateur Public Links at Murphy Creek Golf Course.
Nagy defeated Patrick Lundy of Little River, S.C., 4 & 3 in the second round and Grant Leaver of Centerville, Tenn., 2 & 1 in the third round.
The other quarterfinalists are: John Chin of Temecula, Calif.; Jeff Dennis of Jacksonville, Fla.; Cason Hammock of Columbus, Ga.; David Johnson of Palm City, Fla.; Kyle Leach of Louisville, Ky.; and a pair of Michigan State teammates – Randall Hutchison of Traverse City, Mich. and Jack Newman of Des Moines, Iowa.
With his victories today, Nagy has a 7-1 mark in Public Links match play over the last two years. In 2007, he lost to eventual champion Colt Knost, 3 & 2, in the semifinals.
In a tight third-round match with Leaver, Nagy held a 2-up lead through four holes but was 1 down after 12. He won the 13th and 14th holes to regain a 1-up advantage.
"I made a really good putt for par from 15 feet on the 16th and that turned the match.” said the 19-year-old Nagy of his win over Leaver. “I love match play and USGA events are special.”
Nagy, a two-time honorable mention all-America at North Carolina-Charlotte, was inspired to play competitive golf when he attended Tiger Woods’ victory at the 2000 Masters.
"I could be the highest or the lowest seed,” Nagy said. “I don’t worry about winning or losing. I don’t look at who I’m playing or what the score is.”
Second-seeded Rickie Fowler, 19 and the 2008 Ben Hogan Award winner as the best player in college golf, defeated 2007 runner-up Cody Paladino of Kensington, Conn., 4 & 3 in the second round but lost 2 & 1 to Leach in the third round.
"This is the highlight of my golf career, especially after who I beat,” said Leach, 21, a senior at Bellarmine University in Louisville. “It’s overwhelming.”
Pat Grady, 22, of Broomfield, the only remaining player from Colorado, defeated Zach Sebert of Grove City, Iowa, 2-up in the second round, by winning the last three holes. However, the fifth-year senior at the University of Colorado lost in the third round to Dennis, a University of North Florida senior.
Billy Horschel, 21, of Gainesville, Fla., a member of the 2007 USA Walker Cup team, and Dan Whitaker, of Cle Elum, Wash., the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up, lost in the second round..
Play continues with 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.
--Courtesy USGA's Pete Kowalski