Tuesday, August 16, 2016

United States Amateur Championship first qualifying round

Robert MacIntyre (68) leads Scots at Oakland 

Hills,  Syme 70, Ferguson 72, Forrest 73

By Brentley Romine

Dawson Armstrong birdied six of his first 12 holes in an opening 64 at the U.S. Amateur.
Dawson Armstrong birdied six of his first 12 holes in an opening 64 at the U.S. Amateur. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Michigan – Eighteen holes are in the books at the 116th U.S. Amateur, and that means just 18 holes remain before the field of 312 players is whittled to just 64.
Leading that field after Day 1 is Lipscomb’s Dawson Armstrong, who shot 6-under 64 on the North Course at Oakland Hills. The round was a personal best for the Brentwood, Tennessee native in competition.
“It feels really good to finally reach that hump. … It’s a big bonus (to do it at the U.S. Amateur),” said Armstrong, who just missed the match-play cut at the 2014 U.S. Amateur.
“You know, I was hoping the game would be on. This is kind of a tournament I’ve been looking forward to all year. It’s just been constantly people telling me, hey, look, you’re preparing yourself for the U.S. Amateur up in Oakland Hills, and it’s a great opportunity to show how the hard work is going to pay off.”

Behind Armstrong, many notable names are in ideal position to make match play, including Florida sophomore Sam Horsfield, the world’s second-ranked amateur, and Vanderbilt senior Matthias Schwab, ranked fourth in the world.
Horsfield, who has Ian Poulter’s caddie Terry Mundy on the bag this week, shot 4-under 66 Monday on the North Course at Oakland Hills Country Club, while Schwab played the tougher South Course to the tune of 1-under 69.
“I think I missed eight putts inside of 12 feet,” Horsfield said. “I think I hit 17 greens in regulation … I had three eagle putts. From there, it’s kind of hard not to play well.”
Of course, there are some big names that need to turn things around on Tuesday.
Last year’s U.S. Amateur runner-up Derek Bard of Virginia shot 7-over 77 on the South Course.
TCU’s Chelso Barrett, playing in his 13th USGA event, also carded 77 on the South.
This year’s Latin America Amateur champion Paul Chaplet opened with 76 on the South.
Min Woo Lee, this year’s U.S. Junior Amateur winner, played the South, as well, and shot 73, as did last year’s U.S. Junior champ, Philip Barbaree.
Most notably, top-ranked amateur Maverick McNealy of Stanford finished his first round on the South in 73, carding three birdies, four bogeys and a double. McNealy, who missed some time this summer recovering from adrenal fatigue, has his father Scott McNealy, a Michigan native, on the bag this week.
SCOTSWATCH: Robert MacIntyre, the left hander from Oban and last year's Scottish amateur champion, is the best place of the four Scots in the field who are trying to follow in the footsteps or Aberdonian Richie Ramsay who won this championship before he turned pro.
MacIntyre goes into the second qualifying round in tied 14th place after a two-under-par 68.
Connor Syme is T50 after a 70.
Ewen Feguson and Grant Forrest need to improve some to make the leading 64 who will qualify for the match-play. Ferguson is T118 after a 72 and Forrest is T156 following a three-over 73




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