Ross Steelman (Western Amateur photo)
claimed medalist honors at the 120th Western Amateur Championship being played at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill.
Now the real work begins.
Steelman, who is entering his senior season at Georgia Tech, posted rounds of 66 and 68 on Thursday to finish at 14-under 270 for 72 holes of stroke play used to determine the 16 qualifiers for the match play portion of the tournament, which starts on Friday.
Steelman shot a 5-under 66 in the third round to grab a share of the lead with 36-hole pace setter William Mouw
at 11-under par. A 3-under final round of 68 moved him to 14-under, which was two strokes clear of Matthis Besard
of Belgium and three better than Mouw.
After opening with a 1-over 72 on Tuesday, Steelman has played his last three rounds at Exmoor in 15-under (64-66-68).
“I haven’t been hitting the ball great as of the last couple of months,” said Steelman, who is playing in his first Western Amateur. “Me and my coach have been working on it a lot and it just kind of clicked and I started to trust it on the back nine yesterday.
“I started hitting it really well, hit a couple pretty close, then pitched in for eagle, and it was off to the races from there.”
, who opened the tournament by tying the Exmoor CC record with an 8-under 63, comfortably moved onto match play at 9-under while Michael Thorbjornsen
will have an opportunity to defend his title as the Stanford player finished stroke play at 7-under.
“I like being aggressive,” said Thorbbjornsen. “I just think it’s a lot more fun. You get to see the guy that you’re trying to beat, and you’re just playing against one guy.”
The cutline came at 6-under, with 2021 U.S. Amateur finalist Austin Greaser
and Adrien Dumont de Chassart
of Belgium surviving a 7-for-2 playoff to capture the last two spots in the Sweet 16. de Chassart claimed the final spot, making a 20-foot birdie putt in the dark on the seventh playoff hole.
Friday’s match play competition will be streamed live on GolfChannel.com and thewesternamateur.com, with replays on the Peacock streaming service. Fans can watch the finish of the eight Sweet 16 matches from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT on GolfChannel.com. Coverage will resume from 3-6 p.m. CT for the finish of the quarterfinal matches.
• • • • •
Sweet 16 Matchups
Ross Steelman vs. Adrien Dumont de Chassart
Tommy Kuhl vs. Travis Vick
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira vs. Yuxin Lin
Cole Sherwood vs. Michael Thorbjornsen
Matthis Besard vs. Austin Greaser
Kelly Chinn vs. Rickey Castillo
William Mouw vs. Spencer Tibbits
Derek Hitchner vs. Connor McKinney
The Western Amateur contributed to this report.
ABOUT THE Western Amateur
Invitational event, and the most important
tournament in American amateur golf outside of the
U.S. Amateur. With a grueling schedule, it's quite
hardest amateur tournament to win.
156 invited players come from across the
globe to play one of the toughest formats in
amateur golf. The tournament starts with 18
holes of stroke play on Tuesday and
Wednesday after which the field is cut to the
low 44 scores and ties. Thursday it's a long
day of 36 holes of stroke play to determine
the “Sweet Sixteen” who compete at Match
Play on Friday and Saturday (two matches
each day if you're going to the finals) to
decide the champion.
View Complete Tournament Information