Atlanta Match Play: Noll vs. Albertson in Sunday final

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (Oct. 9, 2010) – Two-time defending champion David Noll Jr. of Dalton will face high-schooler Anders Albertson of Woodstock in the final of the 92nd annual Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship, taking place at Rivermont Golf & Country Club, October 7-10.

To reach the final, Noll had to go 19 holes with another past champion, 2006 winner Mark Strickland of Woodstock, in a Saturday afternoon semifinal match. In what was a back-and-forth contest, Strickland built a 3-up lead through eight holes, but Noll came back to even the match with a birdie at 16. A Strickland bogey at 17 gave Noll a 1-up lead with one hole to play, but Strickland responded with a birdie at the 474-yard, par-5 18th to win the hole and extend the match. On the 440-yard, par-4 first hole, Noll posted birdie to earn a spot in the final for the third straight year.

Albertson, a senior at Etowah High School, played his way into the final with a 2-and-1 win over Wade Binfield of Fayetteville in his semifinal. Binfield got out to an early lead with a birdie on the second hole, but Albertson evened it up with a birdie at the 573-yard seventh. From there he held on, clinching the match with par on 17.

In the quarterfinal matches, Noll topped Garrick Stiles of Statham, 3 and 2, in a match he never trailed, while Strickland ousted Tevis Upton of Acworth by the same margin. Upton had a 2-up lead through eight holes, but Strickland won five of the next six, three with birdies, to go 3 up through 14.

In a pair of closer quarterfinal matches, Albertson defeated Tom Price Jr. of Marietta and Binfield outlasted Chesley Gunn of Chula, both by a 1-up margin.

The 18-hole championship match begins at 8:00 a.m. Sunday. Noll, who also won in 2005, is looking to become the first competitor to win four titles since Charlie Harrison of Atlanta captured ten Championships between 1952 and 1977. Only Harrison and Gene Dahlbender of Atlanta (six titles from 1946-62) have won this event more than three times.

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ABOUT THE Atlanta Match Play

Entries: Open to male amateur golfers

Field: 120 players with the lowest USGA Handicap Indexes

Format: Match play preceded by 18-hole stroke play qualifying. Low 31 and defending champion advance to match play.

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