Chasing Sunset: U.S. Mid-Am Round of 64 interrupted by darkness
Chad Wilfong watches his second shot on hole 17 (Steven Gibbons/USGA)
Chad Wilfong watches his second shot on hole 17 (Steven Gibbons/USGA)

To some degree, the 41st U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship has turned into a race against fading daylight. Given Sunday’s storm and the loss of nearly half a day on Monday due to course cleanup, the national championship for golfers 25 and older is now playing catchup.

On Tuesday, weather-delayed Round 2 was completed at noontime CDT at Erin Hills and stroke-play co-host Blue Mound Golf & Country Club, with the cut for match play coming at 3-over-par 144. Two hours later, the first Round-of-64 match began at Erin Hills, while the 17-for-12 playoff for the final spots in the draw commenced on No. 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Golf was suspended due to darkness at 6:55 p.m., with six players having advanced to the Round of 32 and 26 matches undecided. Four matches did not start, including those featuring the co-medalists: Jake Shuman, of Boston, Mass., and Sam Jones, of New Zealand.

The Round of 64 will resume at 7:15 a.m. CDT on Wednesday.

But it was a good day for the Paysse family in Wisconsin. Andrew Paysse, of Temple, Texas, the brother-in-law of world No. 1 and 2021-22 PGA Tour Player of the Year Scottie Scheffler, eliminated 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinalist Hey, of Charlotte, N.C., 1 up. An hour or so west of Erin Hills, Paysse’s younger brother, William Paysse, won his second college tournament, the rain-shortened Badger Invitational at University Ridge Golf Course in Verona, just outside Madison. William tied for first with a 9-under total of 135 to help Texas A&M, which includes 2022 U.S. Amateur champion Sam Bennett, capture the team title by 11 strokes over host Wisconsin.

“That’s so cool,” said Paysse, who has his wife on his bag. “Just to be an hour and a half away, playing at the same time, it’s pretty crazy. I’m so proud of him… He’s playing really good golf right now. This [championship] is just for fun [for me]. What he does is more important.”

Paysse, also a former Texas A&M golfer, thought he might end his match on the par-3 16th when he stuffed his tee shot to gimme range. But Brown coolly rolled in his birdie putt to keep himself 2 down, and when Paysse sloppily three-putted No. 17, the match went to the par-5 18th. Paysse’s birdie from 15 feet stopped inches from the hole and after Brown failed to chip in his fourth shot from the fringe, it was over.

Thomas McCarthy, of New York, N.Y., broke the hearts of Wisconsin golf fans by playing the equivalent of 1-under-par golf to defeat the last in-state hopeful, Jack Schultz of Milwaukee, 7 and 6. McCarthy has taken advantage of paternity leave from his investment-banking job in Manhattan this summer in posting several strong finishes in Metropolitan Golf Association events. He lost in extra holes to 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up Mark Costanza in the quarterfinals of the Met Amateur and he was the runner-up in the Met Stroke Play Championship called “the Ike at Baltusrol Golf Club.

A member at the Seth Raynor-designed Essex County Country Club in West Orange, N.J., McCarthy felt at home at Blue Mound during stroke play, where he posted a 4-under 66 to help him get into the draw after a 75 at Erin Hills.

Recent Arizona State graduate James Leow, of Singapore, defeated John Humpries, of Woodworth, La., by the same margin. The 25-year-old Leow got a late start to his college career because he served nearly two years in the military, mandatory for all males in Singapore. He didn’t arrive in Tempe until he turned 21, and he missed his junior season at ASU due to labrum surgery.

None of the competitors who finished Round 2 of stroke play on Tuesday could match the 7-under 134 totals posted on Monday by co-medalists Jones and Shuman.

They were one stroke ahead of Dalton Melnyk, of Atlanta, Ga., who carded an even-par 70 at Blue Mound on Tuesday to earn the No. 3 seed. Andrew Bailey, of Cleveland, Ohio, and lHugh Foley, of the Republic of Ireland, were two back. Bailey fired a 4-under 66 at Blue Mound.

First-round leader and defending champion Stewart Hagestad, of Newport Beach, Calif., shot a 4-over 75 at Erin Hills to finish at 2-under 139 and is the No. 14 seed.

What’s Next

Round-of-32 matches are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. CDT, with the Round of 16 and quarterfinals set for Thursday. The semifinals and the first 18 holes of the 36-hole championship match are scheduled for Friday, with the second 18 of the final being contested on Saturday morning.

Results: U.S. Mid-Amateur
WinNorthern IrelandMatthew McCleanNorthern Ireland1000
Runner-upIrelandHugh FoleyIreland700
SemifinalsMNBryce HanstadEdina, MN500
SemifinalsNDJosh PersonsFargo, ND500
QuarterfinalsTXAndrew PaysseTemple, TX400

View full results for U.S. Mid-Amateur

ABOUT THE U.S. Mid-Amateur

The U.S. Mid-Amateur originated in 1981 for the amateur golfer of at least 25 years of age, the purpose of which to provide a formal national championship for the post-college player. 264 players begin the championship with two rounds of sroke play qualifying held at two courses, after which the low 64 (with a playoff if necessary to get the exact number) advance to single elimination match play.

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