William Holcomb (photo via Southern Conference)
Carnage at Carnoustie. Winged Foot woes. Over the years there have been countless courses that have made their mark on the memories of players and fans alike. This week, it may be time to add the Maridoe Massacre to the list.
The Maridoe Amateur is proving to be a strenuous test of golf for 91 of the world’s best amateurs as the mad dash for a Walker Cup berth continues. After a frigid half marathon, the field is trimmed to 64 as the page is flipped from player-versus-course stroke play format to a gladiatorial player-versus-player match play format.
Maridoe Golf Club is difficult enough without cold and wind, and the players have borne the full brunt of a championship course in brutal conditions. But in a match play event, all's fair and the stroke play scores will be forgotten when the champion wins his sixth straight match.
Taking claim to the top spot following 54 holes of stroke play qualifying is Sam Houston State senior William Holcomb. Managing poor shots that got good kicks and great shots that got awful kicks, Holcomb treaded water Monday and Tuesday with a 4-over 76 and a 1-over 73 to sit just three back of 36-hole co-leaders Leo Oyo (Oklahoma State) and Frankie Capan (Florida Gulf Coast).
Steadying his ship, Holcomb began the day one over through five with a bogey on the par-4 4th. But turning on the heat on the chilly Dallas day, the Crockett, Texas native rattled off three birdies in a row to move to three over for the tournament, putting the No. 1 seed in his sights.
While Holcomb climbed, Oyo and Capan fell to the wayside. Taking a harder fall, Capan slid all the way to a T-11, nine over finish thanks to a combined seven over par on hole Nos. 16 and 17, ruining what would have been an even-par day, good for a tie alongside Holcomb.
Oyo had a less gut-wrenching finish to his round. Out in 1-over 37, Oyo got it back down to even with a birdie on the par-5 11th. But, just as Maridoe would have it, good finishes are earned, not given. The Cowboy sophomore bogeyed three of the last six holes to fall, just like Capan, from a tie with Holcomb.
Holcomb secures the No. 1 overall seed for match play. His opponent has yet to be decided as there will be a playoff Thursday morning to decide the 63rd and 64th spots. The field will be trimmed from 64 to 32 on Thursday before two-a-days pick back up Friday.
Some notables to miss the cut include Trevor Werbylo (Arizona); Aman Gupta (Oklahoma State); Harrison Ott (Vanderbilt); Sam Bennett (Texas A&M); and Luke Kluver (Kansas).
Notable Round of 64 matches:
No. 7 Parker Coody (Texas) v No. 58 Joe Highsmith (Pepperdine)
No. 10 Chun An Yu (Arizona State) v No. 55 Hunter Wolcott (Tennessee)
No. 15 Cameron Sisk (Arizona State) v No. 50 Cole Hammer (Texas)
No. 24 Mac Meissner (SMU) v No. 41 Alex Goff (Kentucky)
ABOUT THE Maridoe Amateur
Introduced in 2020 to provide top-ranked players a
chance to contend for a Walker Cup berth, this is 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. 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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