Texas Mid-Am Match Play: Wheeler advances
Plano, TX – Players had to battle through another blistering day of triple digit temperatures during the second day of the Mid-Amateur Match Play Championship. After two grueling rounds of match play, eight players advanced to the quarterfinal round on Saturday. Top seeded Christopher Wheeler is among those to advance. The afternoon wave of matches produced routing wins and final hole clinchers. In the third match of the afternoon, Aaron Hickman handily defeated Bill Steen 6&4. Hickman controlled the match from the opening hole going 1 up. The match went all square after the 3rd hole, from that point forward through the completion of the match Hickman never trailed. He gained the decisive advantage on holes 11-13 winning all three and with a birdie on the 14th hole Hickman closed out the match. Top seeded Christopher Wheeler squared off against John Schaefer. Wheeler after four holes found himself 1 down to Schaefer, but the tide turned for Wheeler on the 6th hole gaining a 1 up advantage. He would go on to win the last three holes on the front nine to turn with a 3 up advantage. Steady play on the back nine allowed Wheeler to keep his lead on Schaefer at 3 up, closing him out on the 16th hole, 3&2. The most exciting match of the afternoon wave came from two veteran mid-amateurs, Lucas Boyd and Dru Fenimore. Their match demonstrated the highs and lows of match play competition, each matching the other shot for shot. Fenimore, from the opening hole gained a 1 up advantage on Boyd. Fenimore, continued to control the match through the front nine holding a 3 up lead. The back nine saw Fenimore’s advantage slip away as Boyd lead a charge birding holes 14 & 16. As the two players stepped on the 17th tee all square it was Fenimore striking back winning the hole with a birdie. Boyd then returned the favor with a birdie on the 18th hole to extend the match. The two would only need one extra hole to decide the status of the match as Boyd closed out the match with a par.In the opening match of the day, top seeded Christopher Wheeler took on Gleneagles CC member Mike McCartan. Wheeler found himself 2down early in the match, but recovered to square the match after nine holes. Wheeler then made a run on the back nine, and with his birdie on the 16th hole was able to close out the match 4 and 2. Clarke Kincaid earned the most lopsided victory of the morning, with an 8 and 7 win over Jeff New. Kincaid won the first three holes to set the tone for the whole match. In a very hotly contested match Brandon Scott needed 20 holes to defeat Kyle Byerly. Scott was 4up at one point in the match, but a great comeback by Byerly forced extra holes before Scott was able to close the match out. The biggest upset of the morning came, when thirty-first seeded Trent Brown took down the second seeded Trevor Hyde. The match went back and forth all day, with both players winning multiple holes. Brown was able to win the final hole to claim a 1up victory over last year’s runner-up.Gleneagles Country Club has hosted many championships in recent years including the 2005 North Mid-Amateur and the 2011 North Amateur. Gleneagles also has the distinction of hosting the IFQ-A, which is the only final qualifying site in the U.S. for the British Open. 2012 will be the fourth consecutive year that Gleneagles will host the IFQ-A. The Mid-Amateur Match Play is scheduled for 18 holes of stroke play qualifying on Thursday. The low 32 players advance to match play. Round of 32 and 16 are played on Friday, Quarter and Semifinal matches played on Saturday, and the finals scheduled for Sunday morning. Entries are open to male amateur golfers with a GHIN handicap index of 5.4 or less, and who are 25 years of age or older as of the first round of the Championship July 21, 2011. Please Reference “TGA Policies and Procedures” for further details.