U.S. Amateur: Dawson Armstrong fires 64 for first round lead
Dawson Armstrong posted 64 today for the early lead (USGA photo)
Dawson Armstrong posted 64 today for the early lead (USGA photo)

"I'm glad I was finally able to bring this course—this monster—to its knees."

Ben Hogan, after his final-round 67 at Oakland Hills in 1951. (That score was equaled today by Nick Carlson of Michigan and Scottie Scheffler of Texas.)

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI (August 15, 2016) -- The early leaders might not have played the famed "Monster" (the South Course at Oakland Hills, playing at 7129 yards for this championship) but they were impressive nonetheless.

Lipsomb University golfer Dawson Armstrong sits alone on the top of the leaderboard after posting 7 birdies against 1 bogey for a round of 6-under 64 on the North. Armstrong won the Western Amateur in 2015, proving he can handle the combination of stroke and match play that will be required to put his name on the Havemeyer Trophy.

“I'm actually a little more excited about just a personal goal,” Armstrong told reporters following his round. “I've shot a lot of 65s but I've never shot 64 in a tournament, so it feels really good to finally reach that hump.”

Robin Petersson of Sweden (and Augusta State, also posted quite a round on the 6829-yard North Course, a 5-under 65. Starting on the 10th hole, the Augusta State golfer (and European Palmer Cup team member) caught fire with 6-straight birdies starting at the 18th hole and continuing through the 5th hole on the front nine, a 629-yard par five.

“The first few holes on the front nine out here, I just had perfect numbers on a five-hole stretch,” Petersson said. “I just fired right at it, and I was close, and I was able to make the putts. It's as easy as that.”

“I'm really excited I pulled it off,” continued Petersson. "I think the U.S. Amateur is the best amateur event in the world, and where I'm at right now, it feels pretty good.”

Also posting 65 was Duke golfer Alex Smalley (Wake Forest, NC) and Gavin Hall of Pittsford, New York who did it in bogey-free fasion. Hall was one of three Texas Longhorns among the top 11 players.

“Any time you can be bogey-free in a USGA event, it's pretty good,” a satisfied Hall said of his round on the North Course. "This course is really gettable, especially with the conditions out there.”

Sam Horsfield of Florida, and Taylor Funk of Florida (University of Texas) headline a large group at 4-under 66.

None of the South Course (The "Monster") contestants shot lower than the 67 Ben Hogan was so happy with many years ago, but two of them matched it -- Nick Carlson of Michigan and Scottie Scheffler of University of Texas.

Carlson, who plays for University of Michigan, was a two-time state high school champion who is no stranger to low scores. He shot a 64 at the Michigan State course in winning his second state title in 2015. Scheffler has a long record of accomplishments including U.S. Junior titles and collegiate success at University of Texas, the runners-up at the 2016 NCAA Championships.

“Yeah, it’s just a brutal golf course,” Carlson said the South course layout. “It was everything I expected and probably a little more. When I got here on Saturday, I was like, ‘Holy cow, this is going to be tough.'"

2014 champion Gunn Yang opened with an even- par 70 on the North Course. A total of 49 players broke par on the first day, 34 on the North Course and 15 on the South Course.

-The USGA contributed to this story

Results: U.S. Amateur
WinAustraliaCurtis LuckAustralia2000
Runner-upTXBrad DalkeMcKinney, TX1500
SemifinalsMINick CarlsonHamilton, MI1000
SemifinalsCAJonah TexeiraPorter Ranch, CA1000
QuarterfinalsINDylan MeyerEvansville, IN700

View full results for U.S. Amateur

ABOUT THE U.S. Amateur

The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA championship, was first played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. It is the pre-eminent amateur competition in the world. Applications are typically placed online in the spring at

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