Friday, August 27, 2010

United States amateur championship

Tough, long course

produces quality


Morgan Hoffmann said after his two matches on Thursday that Chambers Bay is one of the longest courses he's ever seen. That's reflected in the quality of the last eight left in the US amateur championship.
Defending champion Beyong-Hun ‘Ben’ An and 2010 NCAA Men’s Division I champion Scott Langley and six others advanced to the quarter-finals at the 7,742yd, par-71 Chambers Bay course, Washington.
An, an 18-year-old South Korean native living in Bradenton, Florida, advanced with a 3-and-2 victory over Scott Strohmeyer, 20, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. An, who became the youngest champion in U.S. Amateur history at age 17 last year, made par at the par-3 ninth hole to take a 1-up lead that he never relinquished.
“I started off bad,” said An, who defeated Alex Shi Yup Kim, 4 and 3, in the second round Thursday morning. “I was down one through seven and I wasn’t playing well. I was hitting it left and right and missing a lot of putts. I got it back on holes 8, 9, 10 and 11, which were really important. I got it back quickly. That was the key.
“It was so windy out there. I wasn’t thinking about 18 holes. I was thinking about one shot at a time because it was so windy.”
An, a freshman at the University of California, will face his soon-to-be-teammate Max Homa, 19, of Valencia, Calif., who advanced with a 4-and-3 win over Harris English, in the quarterfinals. Despite their college ties, the two met for the first time Thursday morning.
Langley, 21, of St. Louis, Mo., handled Ryan McCarthy, 21, of Australia, in the third round, 6 and 4. After a bogey at the challenging par-4 first hole, Langley remarkably played every hole at par or better despite the windy conditions, which included gusts at more than 20 mph, in the afternoon.
“I just played well this afternoon,” said Langley, a senior from the University of Illinois who was the low amateur at the 2010 U.S. Open. “I controlled my ball, kept it in play and kept the hole in front of me. That was the difference.”
Langley has battled through a tough draw, needing 19 holes to beat two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Tim Jackson in the first round and Patrick Reed, a 2008 U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist and member of the winning 2010 NCAA Division I team champion Augusta State University in the second round.
“I’m very happy with the way I’ve played so far,” Langley said. “The first two matches, I was down early and didn’t give up and kept fighting back. I’m happy with the way I performed down the stretch in those matches, and anytime you win 6 and 4 you can’t be disappointed with the way you’ve played.”
Langley will face 2010 U.S. Palmer Cup teammate David Chung, 20, of Fayetteville, N.C., in the quarterfinals. Chung, a junior at Stanford University, upended 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Brad Benjamin in the third round, 2 and 1.
“It was a survival test,” said Chung, who won the Western Amateur and the Porter Cup this summer. “I don’t think anyone won the match. I just survived a little better than he did. Pars won a lot of holes and I only made one birdie out there. It was brutal out there.”
Despite the tough conditions, Chung noted the strength of the quarter-finalists could be attributed to a difficult course showcasing the field’s best players.
“The most important thing is the approach shots because the greens are so severe in many places,” he said. “You have to be precise and adding the wind with 20- to 30-mile per hour gusts, that added more precision to the shots.”
USA Walker Cup Team member Peter Uihlein, 20, of Orlando, Fla., also advanced to the last eight after a 19-hole match with John Hahn, 21, of Las Vegas, Nevada. Hahn held a lead throughout most of the match, reaching a 2-up advantage after the fourth and ninth holes. The match was all square through 14 and stayed that way until the 19th.
At the 18th, both players had long chips. Uihlein hit first, playing a low chip past the flag and letting the ball filter back to within 1 foot. Hahn followed with a nearly identical shot, leaving himself 2 feet and inducing a concession from Uihlein.
Both players sprayed their drives on the 19th, played on the first hole, with Uihlein going left and Hahn going right. Hahn was forced to hack his ball out of deep fescue, while Uihlein had a look at the green. After hitting three successive shots, Hahn conceded the match.
“I survived,” said Uihlein, a junior at Oklahoma State University who was a quarter-finalist at the 2009 U.S. Amateur. “We were making a lot of bogeys. The course played tough. The wind was brutal. I was fortunate to come out on top because John played a good match.”
Uihlein will face 2009 USA Walker Cup and Oklahoma State University teammate Morgan Hoffmann, 21, of Wyckoff, N.J., in the quarterfinals. Hoffmann defeated Alex Ching in the third round, 4 and 2.
“It will be a good day for OSU golf,” Uihlein said of the upcoming match-up. “It will be fun. We’ve never played head to head.”
The other quarter-final pits Patrick Cantlay, 18, of Los Alamitos, Calif., against Jed Dirksen, 21, of Hampton, Iowa. Cantlay advanced with a 1-up win over Connor Arendell, while Dirksen needed 19 holes to defeat Joseph Bramlett.
The semi-finals will be held on Saturday and the 36-hole final on Sunday.

Brad Benjamin, Rockford, Ill. (145) d. Amory Davis, Chadds Ford, Pa. (149), 3 and 2
David Chung, Fayetteville, N.C. (144) d. Skip Berkmeyer, St. Louis, Mo. (148), 4 and 3
Ryan McCarthy, Australia (143) d. Brent Martin, LaPlata, Md. (147), 3 and 2
Scott Langley, St Louis, Mo. (148) d. Patrick Reed, Augusta, Ga. (145), 19 holes
Max Homa, Valencia, Calif. (145) d. Carter Newman, Augusta, Ga. (149), 7 and 6
Harris English, Athens, Ga. (144) d. Eugene Wong, Canada (144), 2 and 1
Scott Strohmeyer, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (146) d. Justin Thomas, Goshen, Ky. (140), 19 holes
Byeong-Hun An, Berkeley, Calif. (147) d. Alex Shi Yup Kim, Fullerton, Calif. (148), 4 and 3
Patrick Cantlay, Los Alamitos, Calif. (137) d. Blayne Barber, Lake City, Fla. (146), 3 and 2
Connor Arendell, Cape Coral, Fla. (144) d. Chan Kim, Gilbert, Ariz. (148), 6 and 5
Joseph Bramlett, Saratoga, Calif. (143) d. Tyler Sheppard, Midland, Texas (146), 1 up
Jed Dirksen, Hampton, Iowa (147) d. Hudson Swafford, Tallahassee, Fla. (143), 2 and 1
Alex Ching, Honolulu, Hawaii (146) d. Patrick Rodgers, Avon, Ind. (137), 3 and 1
Morgan Hoffmann, Wyckoff, N.J. (144) d. Richard Werenski, South Hadley, Mass. (147), 6 and 4
Peter Uihlein, Orlando, Fla. (146) d. Emiliano Grillo, Argentina (149, 2 up
John Hahn, Las Vegas, Nev. (144) d. Arnond Vongvanij, Gainesville, Fla. (143), 5 and 4
David Chung, Fayetteville, N.C. (144) d. Brad Benjamin, Rockford, Ill. (145), 2 and 1
Scott Langley, St. Louis, Mo. (148) d. Ryan McCarthy, Australia (143), 6 and 4
Max Homa, Valencia, Calif. (145) d. Harris English, Athens, Ga. (144), 4 and 3
Byeong-Hun An, Berkeley, Calif. (147) d. Scott Strohmeyer, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (146), 3 and 2
Patrick Cantlay, Los Alamitos, Calif. (137) d. Connor Arendell, Cape Coral, Fla. (144), 1 up
Jed Dirksen, Hampton, Iowa (147) d. Joseph Bramlett, Saratoga, Calif. (143), 19 holes
Morgan Hoffmann, Wyckoff, N.J. (144) d. Alex Ching, Honolulu, Hawaii (146), 4 and 2
Peter Uihlein, Orlando, Fla. (146) d. John Hahn, Las Vegas, Nev. (144), 19 holes

David Chung v Scott Langley
Max Homa v Byeong-Hun An
Patrick Cantlay v Jed Dirksen
Morgan Hoffmann v Peter Uihlein



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