Western Amateur: Dawson Armstrong leads as field trimmed to 45
Dawson Armstrong
Dawson Armstrong

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. — Dawson Armstrong, one of two opening-round leaders at the 113th Western Amateur, shot 66 on day two at Rich Harvest Farms to take a two-shot lead into the final day of stroke play.

Armstrong, a sophomore at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. who captured this year's Dogwood Invitational, made his first bogey of the tournament at the par-4 15th hole en route to a second-round 66, a day after going bogey-free to shoot 67. The Brentwood, Tenn. native was tied atop the leaderboard with University of Minnesota junior Jose Mendez after Tuesday's first round.

"Have fun. That's my main thing," Armstrong told the Western Golf Associaiton. "This week, I just wanted to take it all in and keep having fun and keep playing small golf. There's no reason to get angry."

Mendez, a native of Costa Rica, struggled on Wednesday with a front-nine 42 sending him on a path to miss the 36-hole cut by a shot. His two-day total of 1-over par 145 was tied for 46th place after two rounds, with the top-44 and ties advancing to Thursday's third and fourth rounds.

Defending champion and defending medalist, both teammates at the University of Texas, failed to make the 36-hole cut. Last year's winner Beau Hossler, a junior, fired consecutive rounds of 73 to miss the cut by two shots while Ghim, a sophomore, made just one birdie during his first two rounds while posting 77-73 and missing by six.

Another member of the Longhorns' men's golf team, sophomore Taylor Funk, is tied for second place after birdieing five of his first ten holes on Wednesday en route to 67. Funk, son of PGA Tour veteran Fred Funk and recent Southern Amateur winner, is tied at nine-under with University of Illinois senior Casey Danielson. Danielson, who carded 70 on day one, began his second round slowly, but caught fire beginning with a birdie at the par-4 eighth. He would go on to birdie seven of his next 10 holes to fire 65 and catapult up the leaderboard.

However, no one went lower than last week's Pacific Coast Amateur champion Aaron Wise. The University of Oregon sophomore rebounded from a first-day 76 to shoot an eight-under 64 on Wednesday — the lowest score of the tournament thus far. He's seven shots back in a tie for ninth place.

"I got off to a hot start and was able to keep the ball in the fairways, which is a big deal out here," Wise told the WGA. "This isn't a course that you necessarily have to learn. The course is out there in front of you ... but you've got to hit it straight. The fescue comes in quick and there are trees, too, that can block you out. Hitting it straight is a big key for me this week."

Thursday's stroke play finale will feature 36 holes with the remaining 45 players fighting for the top 16 spots. Once down to 16, match play will begin and culminate in a 36-hole championship match on Saturday, August 8.

Results: Western Amateur
WinTNDawson ArmstrongBrentwood, TN150067-66-74-74=281
Runner-upCAAaron WiseLake Elsinore, CA120076-64-71-70=281
SemifinalsCAJake KnappCosta Mesa, CA90071-70-72-70=283
SemifinalsALRobby SheltonWilmer, AL90071-68-71-67=277
QuarterfinalsNYGavin HallPittsford, NY70070-73-70-66=279

View full results for Western Amateur

ABOUT THE Western Amateur

Invitational event, and the most important tournament in American amateur golf outside of the U.S. Amateur. With a grueling schedule, it's quite possibly 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.

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