Maridoe Amateur: Leo Oyo, Frankie Capan share 36-hole lead
Maridoe Golf Club (Brayden Conover)
Who said golf season is over?
Albert Huddleston has no time for your silly calendars. The owner of Maridoe Golf Club on the northeast side of Dallas has been at the forefront of giving male amateurs opportunities to compete throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Related: 'We bury heroes here': Maridoe fulfills Huddleston's vision
This week, the best amateurs in the county are playing golf in December in Dallas, trying to win a tournament, or at least impress Walker Cup captain Nathaniel Crosby. And while golf is a year-round game in Texas, the weather on Tuesday was brutal.
Under par rounds at Maridoe are always good. But with a high of 55 on Tuesday, Oklahoma graduate senior Jonathan Brightwell's round of 3-under 69 was even more impressive. It wasn't just the only round in the 60s -- it was the only round under par on Tuesday. After a first round of 80, Brightwell moved right into contention, three back from the 36-hole co-leaders.
After 36 holes, Florida Gulf Coast's Frankie Capan and Oklahoma State's Leo Oyo lead the way by a single shot over Michael Thorbjornsen at 2-over 146. Capan and Oyo both posted rounds of 70 on Monday and 76 on Tuesday.
Even in the best of conditions, the Maridoe Amateur promised to be an endurance test, as competitors battle for 64 match play spots over 54 holes of stroke play. The match play champion and runner up will have tested their games, bodies, and minds with ten rounds of grueling play over the course of seven days.
The 91-player field is highlighted by some big names, including SMU’s Mac Meissner who won the Southern Amateur at Maridoe back in July; U.S. Junior and Sunnehanna Amateur champion Preston Summerhays; past U.S. Junior champion Michael Thorbjornsen; David Ford who is coming off a big-time AJGA win at the Rolex Tournament of Champions; 2019 AmateurGolf.com Player-of-the-Year Chun Un Yu (Arizona State); Pepperdine star William Mouw and East Lake medalist Patrick Welch (Oklahoma).
U.S. Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci has already secured a spot on the 2021 Walker Cup team, but runner-up Ollie Osborne and semifinalists Aman Gupta and Matthew Sharpstene will be competing at Maridoe.
Conditions all week will be chilly with temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to low 50s for the majority of the week. The chance of precipitation is low with Sunday’s practice session being the most moisture the field will see all week. Winds on the Southern Plains will be noticeable but not really playing an effect on shots with winds varying from 10-20 miles per hour all week.
With both stroke and match play being used, anything can happen, especially with 162 holes on the docket to separate a champion from one of the most elite amateur fields assembled since COVID-19 put the game on pause back in March.
ABOUT THE Maridoe Amateur
This tournament was introduced in 2020 to provide
top-ranked players a
chance to contend for a Walker Cup berth. The
original format was grueling, a U.S.
Amateur-style competition with 54 holes of stroke
play followed by a 64-player match-
play bracket and a 36-hole championship match. In
2021 the format changed to 54
holes of stroke play. The top 102 players in the World
Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR)
will be invited, with the rest of the field based off the
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