Viktor Hovland of Norway and Oklahoma State (AmateurGolf.com photo)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA (August 16, 2018) - The USGA accepted 7,463 entries for the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship, of which 312 made the starting field at Pebble Beach Golf Links. We are now down to the final 16 players after the Thursday morning matches, with the quarterfinalists to be decided by the end of the day.
Cole Hammer (Houston, TX), who made history on Tuesday
by becoming just the fifth player to medal in the Western Am and U.S. Am in the same year, survived a game challenge by Joshua McCarthy (Danville, CA) with a 1 up win. McCarthy won holes 12-14 to take a 1 up lead in the match, but bogeyed the next two holes to allow Hammer to retake the lead and close it out at the 18th.
Related: U.S. Am watch: Trio of titles makes Hammer a Pebble favorite
The other stroke play medalist wasn't as fortunate. Daniel Hillier (New Zealand) ran into a hot Davis Riley (Hattiesburg, MS) and fell 5&4.
Riley will next face Mason Overstreet (Kingfisher, OK), who ended an impressive run by high school sophomore Jackson Van Paris (Pinehurst, NC) with a 3&2 win. Van Paris made some history of his own yesterday, when he became the second-youngest player ever to win a match at the U.S. Amateur (the youngest being none other than Bobby Jones).
A pair of USGA champions advanced to the final 16. Noah Goodwin (Corinth, TX), winner of the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur, defeated Raul Pereda (Mexico) 2&1 while 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur champ Stewart Hagestad (Newport Beach, CA) got by Davis Chatfield (Attleboro, MA) 4&3. In nine tries at the U.S. Amateur, Hagestad had never made match play until this year.
Hagestad is the lone mid-amateur remaining in the field, as Bradford Tilley (Easton, CT) was eliminated by Kristoffer Reitan (Norway) 2&1.
Reitan will now face his fellow countryman Viktor Hovland, who won a roller-coaster match with Harrison Ott (Brookfield, WI), 2&1. The players traded holes for much of the day, with Hovland making four birdies and an eagle (at the 6th), but also four bogeys and a double (at the 8th).
In addition to the two Norwegians, two other international players moved on the the final 16. Zach Murray of Australia was able to beat Clay Feagler (Laguna Niguel, CA) 3&2, while Alex Fitzpatrick of England won an epic 20-hole match against Jesus Montenegro of Argentina that was full of lead changes and short game heroics.
Other internationals weren't as fortunate. In addition to Hillier, Pereda and Montenegro, Zheng Kai (Bobby) Bai of China fell to William Gordon (Davidson, NC), Chun An Yu of Chinese Taipei lost to Andrew Alligood (St. Johns, FL), and Luis Gagne of Costa Rica went down to Austin Squires (Union, KY).
Devon Bling (Ridgecrest, CA), Isaiah Salinda (S. San Francisco, CA), and William Mouw (Chino, CA) did California proud by advancing. Bling's win was particularly impressive, knocking out a highly-ranked and hot player in Shintaro Ban (San Jose, CA), 2 up. He was equally impressive in his post-round interview, which you can see and hear below.
Salinda and Mouw combined to eliminate both Phillips brothers from Inman, South Carolina. Salinda made short work of his opponent for the second straight match, knocking out Trevor Phillips 5&4, while Mouw went 20 holes to outlast Trent Phillips.
And speaking of brothers, the Meissners from San Antonio, TX both made the U.S. Amateur by taking the only two spots at their sectional qualifier, sharing medalist honors no less. Older brother Mitchell didn't make match play, but younger brother McClure scored one of the biggest wins of the day, winning four of the last six holes to beat John Augenstein (Owensboro, KY), 2&1. Augenstein has been one of the hottest players in amateur golf this year, winning the Players Amateur and rising to #2 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking.
Related: U.S. Am notes: Meissner overthrows Dalke, mid-am update
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
which has no age restriction, is open to
with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is
of 14 national championships conducted
annually by the USGA, 10 of which are
for amateurs. It is the pre-eminent
competition in the world.
Applications are typically placed online in the spring
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