No. 64 seed David Nyfjall defeated the stroke-play medalist in the morning and was battling Ricky Castillo in the Round of 32. (Chris Keane/USGA)
Competing in his third U.S. Amateur Championship, Van Holmgren, 22, of Plymouth, Minn., earned two match-play victories on Thursday at Oakmont Country Club to reach the Round of 16 for the first time. Oakmont is hosting the championship’s 121st edition – its 17th USGA championship overall and record-tying sixth U.S. Amateur.
Holmgren, a recent graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University who earned the No. 7 seed in stroke play, defeated Maxwell Moldovan, 3 and 2, in the Round of 64, then ousted Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira, of Argentina, 4 and 3, on Thursday afternoon. Holmgren, who learned the game at The First Tee program in the Three Rivers Park District in Plymouth, squandered a 3-up lead against Moldovan before rallying to capture three consecutive holes and close out the Ohio State sophomore. In the afternoon, he never lost a hole and closed out de Oliveira, a University of Arkansas junior, on the 15th hole of the match.
Three other players completed Round-of-32 wins before play was suspended for the day at 6:35 p.m. It was the fourth weather delay in three days – totaling more than 10 hours. The rest of the Round-of-32 matches, all of which were in progress, are scheduled to resume on Friday morning, conditions permitting.
Austin Greaser, 20, of Vandalia, Ohio, who was a quarterfinalist in the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur at Inverness Club, also notched two wins on Thursday. The University of North Carolina junior eliminated Bo Andrews, 2 and 1, then rallied to defeat Xavier Marcoux, 3 and 2, in the afternoon after trailing by two holes through the first six.
“You never want to trail, obviously, but at the same time, just be patient,” said Greaser, the No. 24 seed. “My caddie and I talked about it. We said, we’ve still got 12 holes and this is Oakmont. There is more than plenty of time. Just staying patient is the biggest thing for me.”
Ross Steelman, of Columbia, Mo., the No. 17 seed, and James Piot, of Canton, Mich., the No. 31 seed, also posted two victories on Thursday to reach the Round of 16.
The No. 1 seed in match play, Mark Goetz, of Greensburg, Pa., lost the last four holes and the match to David Nyfjall, of Sweden, 1 up, on Wednesday morning. Nyfjall’s 25-foot birdie putt clinched the come-from-behind win. A Northwestern University junior who is No. 200 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Nyfjall was on the 21st hole of his Round-of-32 match against Ricky Castillo when play was suspended. Castillo, of Yorba Linda, Calif., and a 2021 USA Walker Cup Team member, sent that match to extra holes with a 26-foot birdie putt on No. 18.
The Round of 32 is scheduled to resume on Friday morning. Peacock, Golf Channel and NBC will broadcast all three remaining days of match play, with the 36-hole final scheduled for Sunday, starting at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Since 2010, seven medalists or co-medalists have lost in the Round of 64. No. 1 seed Mark Goetz was 3 up with 4 to play, but lost his last four holes to David Nyfjall.
With Nyfjall’s victory over Goetz, playoff survivors in the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2021 completed a perfect 3-0 record in the Round of 64.
Three players advanced in their Round-of-64 matches after trailing 3 down on the back nine (Nyfjall, Joe Highsmith and Michael Thorbjornsen).
For the first time since 1984, no matches went extra holes in the Round of 64.
Travis Vick is 2 up through 15 holes in his Round-of-32 match against his University of Texas teammate, Parker Coody. Coody defeated Vick in the Round of 32 at the Maridoe Amateur in December.
This is believed to be the first time that a two-tee start was implemented during match play in a USGA championship. Play is scheduled to begin off Nos. 1 and 10 again when the Round of 16 is played.
Devon Bling made two eagles in his Round-of-64 match – a 30-foot putt on the par-5 12th and a 15-footer on the par-4 17th to close the match. Bling also eagled the 17th in Round 2 of stroke play.
Jacob Bridgeman and Bo Jin are tied through 17 holes in their match. It is their fifth round together this week, following two practice rounds and two rounds of stroke play, one at Oakmont and one at stroke play co-host the Longue Vue Club, in nearby Verona.
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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