Stewart Hagestad was the only Mid-Am to advance Wednesday (USGA)
The 120th U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes had a long and eventful day on Wednesday. Following a playoff that featured 18 players for the final three match-play spots, the Round of 64 was cut in half by day's end.
Here are the highlights from the first day of match play:
Ride the Wave
Pepperdine has quite the representation at Bandon Dunes. Sending seven to the event, three Waves advanced to match play. Clay Feagler won his match 4&3 over Eddy Lai, William Mouw continued his solid summer with a 3&2 win over Jordan Batchelor. The lone loss for the Waves on the day came at the hands of Notre Dame’s Davis Lamb who beat Joey Vrzich 2&1. Pepperdine was among three schools that had seven representatives at Bandon (Oklahoma State & Texas Tech).
With match play comes plenty of upsets. Most notably today was 62-seed Cameron Sisk defeating 3-seed Ben Shipp 5&4. Shipp, an NC State senior, led just once on the opening hole of the match. Sisk, a rising junior at Arizona State, took control of the match on the second hole and never looked back. Taking a 2 up advantage at the turn, Sisk won holes Nos. 12, 13, and 14 to ice the match.
Other notable upsets include 61-seed Sam Harned 4&3 over 4-seed Travis McInroe; (59) Noah Norton 3&2 over (6) David Ford; (48) Spencer Tibbetts 2&1 (17) Michael Brennan; (41) Tyler Strafaci 4&2 over (24) Kelly Chinn.
Five mid-amateurs made it to Wednesday’s Round of 64. Derek Busby, Stewart Hagestad, Scott Harvey, Kevin O’Connell, and Andres Schonbaum tested their games against the young-bloods at the Dunes course.
Hagestad will be on his own the rest of the way as the lone mid-am. After defeating Argentinian Abel Gallegos 1 up, Hagestad will face Spencer Tibbetts at 7:10 am PST as he continues to compete in his 20th USGA championship.
“I wasn't as nervous as I was in years past," Hagestad said. "It's not in any way to say that I didn't care, but I was a little bit more comfortable with the position. Obviously, you hope you win, but if you play great and get beat, that's easier to take. I knew that I was playing some solid golf, and if I continued to execute, hopefully, we could make it close.”
Hagestad has every right to be comfortable. Out of the 20 USGA championships he has competed in over the years, this is his 10th U.S. Amateur.
Oklahoma State head coach Alan Bratton continues to carry the load for his Cowboys in the U.S. Amateur. In 2010 at Chambers Bay he toted the bag for Peter Uihlein as Uihlein brought the program’s fourth U.S. Amateur title back to Stillwater, Oklahoma. Doing the same for Viktor Hovland in 2018, Bratton began the week looping for OSU senior Austin Eckroat. Missing the cut for match play, Bratton began bagging for alternate Aman Gupta.
Gupta got into the field when Florida’s Ricky Castillo withdrew citing an injury. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Gupta fired a 6-under 137 to secure a T-5 finish and a spot in match play. As the 5-seed, Gupta took on 60-seed Van Holmgren, advancing 3&2 into the Round of 32.
The risk/reward 16th played a pivotal role in multiple matches Wednesday. The driveable par-4 lays down-wind with the pacific lining the right side and pot bunkers guarding the front.
Jonathan Yuan took a 2 up lead on the 16th, putting his tee-shot to 15-feet for a two-putt birdie before icing the match on the 17th for a 3&1 win over Davis Thompson.
Texas A&M's Sam Bennett clinched his spot in the Round of 32 after getting up-and-down from a pot bunker for a match-ending birdie against Andy Lopez.
The 16th left former 1992 U.S. Amateur champion Justin Leonard enamored as he called it "the star of the show" on NBC's coverage.
Surely as the field crunches down, the 16th will be able to steal more of the spotlight.
No. 1 seeds have not had the best record at the U.S. Amateur since 1992. 14 medalists have had a first-round exit with only two players able to sweep both halves of the event. Alabama’s Wilson Furr was able to survive the Round of 64 with a 6&4 victory over China’s Aaron Du.
“This is the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in my golf career," Du said after making the field of 64.
Du snuck into the match-play portion by the skin of his teeth, sinking a 10-footer for birdie on No. 11 for the third and final spot, making for a long day for the Cal Golden Bear.
Furr and the remaining 31 other players will look to continue their quest for the Havemeyer Trophy Thursday as the field will be trimmed from 32 to eight.
Television coverage of the event begins at 6:00 pm EST on NBC's free streaming service Peacock before flipping over to Golf Channel at 7:00 pm EST to close out Thursday's festivities.
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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