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Western Amateur: Gonzales takes Medalist Honors

Benton Harbor, Mich. (Friday, July 29) -– Late Monday afternoon, Andres Gonzales, a senior at UNLV, slipped into the elite 2005 Western Amateur field, sinking a birdie putt on the first hole of an 11-man playoff at The Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame to earn one of the last four tournament qualifying spots.

On Friday, Gonzales took advantage of the opportunity, shooting rounds of 70 and 67 at Point O’Woods Golf and Country Club in Benton Harbor, Mich., to win medalist honors with a 3-under-par 277, 72-hole total, in the 103rd Western Amateur, presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf.

Gonzales, 22, of Olympia, Washington, heads the list of 16 players who played their way into Saturday’s first round of match play.

“This means a whole lot to me,” said Gonzales, who has yet to record a victory in his collegiate career. “I’ve been waiting for a breakthrough performance like this. Hopefully, it will jump start me. As far as amateur fields, this is the best in the country. To know I can go out there and beat the best players definitely gives me confidence.”

Gonzales finished two strokes in front of four players tied for second at 1-under-par 279: first- and second-round leader Brian Carroll, 22, of Crystal Lake, Illinois; 2003 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan T. Smith, 26, of Brookville, Pa.; four-time AJGA Junior All-American Randy Lowry, 18, of Spring, Texas; and 2001 Western Junior champion Jonathan Moore, 20, of Portland, Oregon. During the final 36 holes, Smith reached 6 under par and Lowry made it to 5 under, but both lost strokes on their final 18.

“It really firmed up in the afternoon,” said Smith. “The conditions changed. All of a sudden, the greens got really fast. I had to play conservative at the end … just try to make match play. I’ve been playing really well this summer, and it’s nice to be back.”

Lowry, who first played in the Western Amateur four years ago at age 15, made his first Sweet 16 in four tries. “I feel like all of the experience I’ve gained over the last three years has really paid off,” he said. I’ve been learning more about this course every year. I think I’ve played it 20 times now.”

Carroll lost a chance to for medalist honors with a third-round, 6-over-par 76 but bounced back with a final round 69. “I had five straight bogeys followed by a double bogey in my morning round,” said Carroll. “My tempo was off, I was coming out of it …(between rounds) I hit some drivers on the range and figured it out.”

An eagle on the par 5, 555-yard, 13th helped him recover in the afternoon round. “It made me feel that if I played well coming in, I would make it,” said Carroll, a senior at George Washington University. “I feel good right now. I’m definitely looking forward to match play.”

In a five-man playoff at 284 for the final three spots, Jamie Lovemark, 17, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., birdied the second hole, a par 5, 565-yard, par 5, making a 100-foot putt from the far back edge of the green. Brad Iles, 21, Tauranga, New Zealand, and Philip Frances, 16, Scottsdale, Ariz., both made par on No. 2 to fill the final two Sweet 16 spots.

Michael Sim, Golfweek’s No. 1 ranked amateur, bogeyed the first playoff hole, and Martin Ureta bogeyed the second playoff hole, to miss playing in Saturday’s match play. Sim, 20, of Perth, Western Australia, entered the day in second just three strokes back of Carroll, but a 77 in the morning round followed by a closing 70 forced him into the playoff. Ureta, 20, of Santiago, Chile, closed with a 69-73 to make the playoff.

Saturday’s first round of match play will start at 8 a.m., with medalist Gonzales playing Lovemark in one of eight matches. The quarter-finals will be played Saturday afternoon. The two semi-final matches will be Sunday morning starting at 8, with the 18-hole championship match set for Sunday afternoon.

Following are the final stroke play results in the 2005 Western Amateur and the pairings for Saturday’s first round.

* * * * * *

103rd Western Amateur – Final Stroke Play Results
Point O’Woods G. & C.C., Benton Harbor, Mich.
Par: 70 Yardage: 7,032

Pos Player Hometown Rd1 Rd2 Rd3 Rd4 Tot +/-
1 Andre's Gonzalez * Olympia, WA 72 68 70 67 277 -3
T2 Brian Carroll * Crystal Lake, IL 65 69 76 69 279 -1
T2 Randy Lowry * Spring, TX 73 65 70 71 279 -1
T2 Jonathan Moore * Portland, OR (2004) 69 72 67 71 279 -1
T2 Nathan T. Smith * Brookville, PA 69 69 67 74 279 -1
T6 Andrew Dodt (10) * Australia, 72 71 64 73 280 E
T6 Seung Su Han * Las Vegas, NV (2005) 69 73 66 72 280 E
T8 Daniel Green * Jackson, TN 68 74 69 70 281 1
T8 Jon McLean * Miami, FL (2004) 71 71 70 69 281 1
T8 Richard Scott (10) * Canada, 73 71 68 69 281 1
T8 Chris Wilson * Dublin, OH 72 68 71 70 281 1
12 Luke List (10) * Ringgold, GA 74 70 70 68 282 2
13 Cole Isban * South Bend, IN 69 71 74 69 283 3
T14 Philip Francis * Scottsdale, AZ 70 70 74 70 284 4
T14 Bradley Iles * New Zealand, 70 71 68 75 284 4
T14 Jamie Lovemark * Ranch Santa Fe, CA 69 70 73 72 284 4
 
  lost playoff              
T14 Michael Sim * Australia, 67 70 77 70 284 4
T14 Martin Ureta * Chile, 77 65 69 73 284 4
 
  failed to qualify              
T19 Scott Brown * N. Augusta, SC 69 72 73 71 285 5
T19 Rory Hie * Lakewood, CA 66 77 69 73 285 5
T19 Sihwan Kim (10) * Fullerton, CA 73 73 70 69 285 5
T19 Ryan Posey (10) * Dallas, TX 75 70 74 66 285 5
T19 Ted Smith * Westlake, OH 73 70 72 70 285 5
T24 Rafael Cabrera-Bello * Spain, 69 70 73 74 286 6
T24 Dillon Dougherty (10) * Woodland, CA 71 73 71 71 286 6
T24 Scott Gustafson * Eden Prairie, MN 70 72 73 71 286 6
T24 Adam Porker (10) * Australia, 75 69 68 74 286 6
T24 Alex Prugh * Spokane, WA 71 71 76 68 286 6
29 Ben Hayes (10) * Paradise Valley, AZ 73 73 74 67 287 7
T30 Rob Grube * Hinsdale, IL 69 71 74 74 288 8
T30 Michael Schachner * Libertyville, IL 72 68 79 69 288 8
T32 Jeff Bell (10) * Plano, TX 75 70 71 73 289 9
T32 Daniel Im (10) * La Habra, CA 72 72 71 74 289 9
T32 Ben Leong (10) * Malaysia, 74 69 72 74 289 9
T35 Steve Jones (10) * Australia, 77 68 71 74 290 10
T35 Eamonn McLoughlin * Amityville, NY 74 67 77 72 290 10
T35 David Noll Jr. (10) * Dalton, GA 72 74 74 70 290 10
T35 Jay Reynolds (10) * Austin, TX 73 72 70 75 290 10
T39 Chris Baker (10) * Brownstown, IN 76 69 73 73 291 11
T39 Mark Baldwin (10) * Laconia, NH 73 73 72 73 291 11
T39 Trent Leon (10) * Dallas, TX 74 72 70 75 291 11
T39 Christian Vozza (10) * Traverse City, MI 73 72 70 76 291 11
T43 Tyler Docking (10) * Overland Park, KS 73 72 73 74 292 12
T43 Tyler Leon (10) * Dallas, TX 75 70 72 75 292 12
T43 Tim Streng (10) * Arlington Heights, IL 73 72 75 72 292 12
T43 Joshua Wooding (10) * Riverside, CA 73 73 75 71 292 12
T47 Ryan Carter (10) * Hacienda Hts., CA 72 73 75 73 293 13
T47 Andrew Dresser * Carrollton, TX 74 69 69 81 293 13
T47 Matt Harmon * Grand Rapids, MI 70 71 79 73 293 13
50 Andrew Tampion (10) * Australia, 75 71 66 82 294 14
51 Robert Gates (10) * Gainesville, FL 69 76 73 77 295 15
- Ken Vanko (10) * Aurora, IL 75 71 W W - -
ABOUT THE Western Amateur (Match Play)

Invitational event, known to many as the 'Masters of Amateur Golf.' Quite probably the hardest amateur tournament to win.

156 invited players come from across the globe to play one of the toughest formats in amateur golf. The tournament starts with 18 holes of stroke play on Tuesday and Wednesday after which the field is cut to the low 44 scores and ties. Thursday it's a long day of 36 holes of stroke play to determine the “Sweet Sixteen” who compete at Match Play on Friday and Saturday (two matches each day if you're going to the finals) to decide the champion.

View Complete Tournament Information

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