Erin, Wisc. (Aug. 27, 2011) -- Defending champion Peter Uihlein, 21, of Orlando, Fla., was one of four members of the USA and Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Teams who advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Championship Friday at 7,760-yard, par-72 Erin Hills.
Uihlein, an Oklahoma State senior who won the 2011 Ben Hogan Award as the best collegiate player, defeated 2010 NCAA Division I champion Scott Langley, 22, of St. Louis, Mo., in the third round of match play, 2 and 1. He will represent the USA in the 2011 Walker Cup Match at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland, Sept. 10-11, after assisting the USA to its victory in the 2009 Match.
Uihlein lost the first hole but gained a 3-up advantage through seven holes, only to have Langley square the match at No. 11. Uihlein regained the lead after a Langley bogey on 12 and retained his advantage for the rest of the match.
“Scottie wasn’t as sharp as he has been in the past few days and as a result I wasn’t either,” Uihlein said. “I was able to sneak one out. It’s always hard playing a friend, especially Scottie who is the nicest guy out there.
“It was a long golf course today. They pushed us back today but it was a different wind direction. It was good from a course knowledge standpoint.”
Joining Uihlein in the quarterfinals were fellow USA Walker Cup Team members Patrick Rodgers, 19, of Avon, Ind., with a 4-and-3 win over Sunil “Richard” Jung, of Korea; Patrick Cantlay, 19, of Los Alamitos, Calif., with a 3-and-1 decision over Tom Lewis, of England; along with Great Britain and Ireland Team member Jack Senior, 23, of England, with a 3-and-2 victory over John Hahn.
Cantlay, the 2011 Jack Nicklaus Award winner as the NCAA Division I Player of the Year, recovered from a 2-down deficit through four holes to defeat Lewis, who held the first-round lead and was the low amateur at the 2011 British Open Championship.
“There was no real momentum swing,” Cantlay said of his match. “I made a nice 35-footer on 13, the par 3, and that gave me some confidence going forward.
“You are never really relaxing out there. I was two down early so it was a grind.”
Jordan Russell, 22, of College Station, Texas, ended the run of Bobby Leopold, 26, of Cranston, R.I., who emerged from the playoff for match play to defeat medalist Gregor Main and USA Walker Cup Team member and Nationwide Tour event winner Russell Henley. Russell won in 19 holes.
“Now I can play with these guys,” said Leopold, an insurance professional. “There’s probably just one part of my game (chipping) that I need to work to get to where they are. After that, I feel like this is something I can get to the finals in.”
By advancing to the quarterfinals, the winners of third-round matches are exempt from qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
Jordan Russell, College Station, Texas (140) d. Bobby Leopold, Cranston, R.I. (142), 19 holes
Peter Uihlein, Orlando, Fla. (137) d. Scott Langley, St. Louis, Mo. (137), 2 and 1
Max Buckley, Rye, N.Y. (141) d. John Peterson, Fort Worth, Texas (139), 19 holes
Patrick Cantlay, Los Alamitos, Calif. (140) d. Tom Lewis, England (139), 3 and 1
Blake Biddle, St. Charles, Ill. (134) v. Kelly Kraft, Denton, Texas (141)
Patrick Rodgers, Avon, Ind. (136) d. Sunil Jung, Korea (137), 4 and 3
Jack Senior, England (140) d. John Hahn, Las Vegas, Nev. (139), 3 and 2
Jordan Spieth, Dallas, Texas (137) d. Ben Geyer, Arbuckle, Calif. (135), 7 and 5