Have you ever seen a scorecard like this? (AmateurGolf.com photo)
The first round at the North & South is in the books, and there were some scores that might belong in the history books.
Enter Andrew O'Leary
of Norfolk, Mass.
O'Leary played holes six through eight in a total of eight shots. He also played hole Nos. 10-12 in eight shots. However, the ninth hole was a different story.
After his tee shot found its way into bushy area, he took five shots to finally move the ball. But he was 220 yards away and six shots deep.
“I ended up making a 9. Just had to try to regroup as best as I could because I had gotten off to a decent start so I was still in it," O'Leary said. "So, I thought, let’s try to make some birdies on this back nine. Came out, birdied 10, and was like, all right, we’re getting back into it.”
He certainly was getting back into it, he aced the par-11 eleventh hole.
“It was 171 yards, and I hit a little chippy 8 iron, and it just landed, one bounce and just disappeared. At that point, I was like, this is just going to be the most absurd day of golf in my life, and just embraced that and tried to have as much fun with it as I could.”
O'Leary wasn't the only one with some big swings on the scorecard. Leader Joshua Bai
, of New Zealand, carded two eagles in his first round on his way to a 65 on course No. 4.
The 16-year-old Bai's first eleven holes weren't anything special. He made birdies on holes two and eight along with an eagle on the ninth.
“I thought things were going real good, and then I went bogey-bogey to fall to 1 over again,” Bai said. “I knew I had to finish well."
His finish was an avalanche of low numbers.
“And then I went birdie-birdie-birdie, hole-out eagle,” he added, with a modest chuckle. “(On 15) I had 86 meters left, and it just slam-dunked straight in the hole, no pitch mark, nothing, just straight in the hole.”
Bai wrapped up his round with a birdie on the 18th hole. Just like that, in six holes, Bai went from one-over par to five-under par.
It was Duke's Ian Siebers
who set the pace early with seven birdies on No. 4. No eagles or double bogeys on his card today. Just steady golf with a small blip when he bogeyed the 13th and 14th holes.
“I got a few early birdies that got me the momentum going throughout the day,” Siebers said. “I had a couple of bogeys on the tough holes on the back, but I was able to bounce right back.”
Stanford's Karl Vilips
had the best round on course No. 2 in the first round. Vilips is comfortable at Pinehurst; he was a quarterfinalist in the North & South a year ago and in the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst in 2019.
Vilips made birdies at the 2nd and 3rd before draining a long putt for eagle from off the fringe right of the par-5 5th hole to get to 4 under through five. He made one birdie on ten and a bogey on 16 after his hot start.
Vilips is tied for third with Leo Oyo
and Maxwell Ford
In a group of seven players at 3-under par is local star Jackson Van Paris, who lost in the finals last year.
The second round of stroke play will be played on Wednesday, and then the field will be cut to the top 32 players to be seeded into match play. The championship match will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday on No. 2.
ABOUT THE North & South Amateur
The North & South Amateur Championship is the
longest consecutively run amateur tournament in
United States. Its past winners list includes names
Travis, Francis Ouimet, Billy Joe Patton, Jack
and Curtis Strange. The field is made up of invited
players as well as open applications. Two rounds of
play are followed by five rounds of match play
qualifiers) to determine the Champion. All stroke
& match play rounds are contested on
Pinehurst No. 2.
View Complete Tournament Information