By Dave Shefter,
BANDON, ORE. (June 30, 2011) -- It's official. We have our eight quarterfinalists. Interesting bunch of players. We've got two Ducks and two Aztecs, plus the medalist and our hole-in-one star. The two Ducks are University of Oregon standouts Andrew Vijarro and Daniel Miernicki. Vijarro, of Bend, is the only Oregonian left in the field. The two Aztecs are San Diego State golfers J.J. Spaun and Todd Baek. Baek is a very interesting story. Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote an interesting piece on him. Click here for the story.
The medalist, Corbin Mills, also survived two tough matches on Thursday, including a 1-up win over reigning NCAA Division I champion John Peterson, a 2011 Walker Cup hopeful. And Derek Ernst, who thrilled everyone at Bandon Trails on Wednesday by acing the par-4 eighth hole, nearly had another hole-in-one in Thursday's second-round win over Chris Mory. He then eliminated Alex Edfort in the third round. Ernst, the 2011 Mountain West Conference champion, plays Miernicki in one quarterfinal. Vijarro meets Mills and Spaun takes on Harris English, another 2011 Walker Cup hopeful who helped Georgia finish as the runner-up at this year's NCAA Division I Championship.
The final quarterfinal features Baek against Jonathan Randolph, who has played the least amount of holes among the final eight golfers. The Branson, Miss., native, who just completed his eligibility at Ole' Miss, needed only 28 holes to win two matches on Thursday at Old Macdonald. He played just 15 holes in Wednesday's first-round win over Max McKay. Randolph does have links golf experience, having played on the 2010 U.S. Palmer Cup Team at Royal Portrush. One of his teammates was Miernicki. Those two could play in the semifinals on Friday afternoon at Old Macdonald.
All the golf now will be played at Old Mac. The WAPL quarterfinals start before he APL quarters on Friday morning. The semis are scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m. PDT with the WAPL first, followed by the APL. Should be some great golf on Friday.
And the weather is supposed to be nice. -- David Sheft