Aug. 23, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Following the first two rounds of play at the 2006 United States Amateur Championship from Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., Santa Clara University men's golfer Jong Yoon fell just one stroke short of the cut-off for the final Field of 64 which advanced to the match-play portion of the tournament.
Yoon began the U.S. Amateur Monday by shooting a 71 on the Chaska Town course, leaving him in position to make the cut with a solid round the following day on the Hazeltine course. Hazeltine, the toughest of the two courses, proved a tough go for much of the field, and Yoon battled his way to a 77. But his combined score of 148 fell just behind the cut-off of 147.
This year's tournament marked the second time that Yoon had qualified, as he took part in his first U.S. Amateur in 2003.
Nineteen-year-old Billy Horschel of Grant, Fla., finished 18 strokes higher than his first round, but his 6-over-par 78 Tuesday at Hazeltine National Golf Club was still low enough for him to earn medalist honors by two strokes at the U.S. Amateur Championship.
Horschel's 36-hole total for a round at Hazeltine and another at the Chaska Town Course, where he shot a USGA championship record 60 (11 under par) Monday, was 5-under-par 138. His closest challenger was Mark Harrell, 20, of Hazelhurst, Ga., who had a 2-over-par 74 at Hazeltine and a total of 3-under-par 140.
The next lowest were Greg Machtaler, 22, of Canada and Kyle Davis, 20, of Kennett Square, Pa., who finished at 2-under-par 141. Seven more were at 1-under-par 142, headed by Bronson La'Cassie, 23, of Australia and Pablo Martin, 20, of Spain, who finished one-two respectively at the recent Western Amateur. Only 11 of the 312 golfers in the field finished under par.
The low 64 scorers advance to match play, which began today at Hazeltine National. The Championship runs through Sunday's 36-hole final.
"I'm happy I started off with that 60," said Horschel, who suffered a double and triple bogey in his Tuesday round. "I didn't know what to expect after that round. It was a struggle.
"I tried a couple of great escapes that didn't work out," added Horschel, a sophomore at the University of Florida who qualified for the U.S. Open in June. "I made all of my mistakes today, I hope."
There was only one score under par at Hazeltine Tuesday (three total over two days and 312 rounds). That was a 1-under-par 71 by Webb Simpson, 21, of Raleigh, N.C., who safely advanced to match play with a total of 143.NCAA champion Jonathan Moore of Vancouver, Wash., who plays at Oklahoma State, also advanced (145), as did two of last year's quarterfinalists - Ryan Yip (143) and Mark Leon (146) of Canada.
Five golfers with Walker Cup ties advanced - four of them members of the 2005 Great Britain and Ireland team. They were Oliver Fisher (142) of England, Lloyd Saltman (143) of Scotland, Richard Ramsey (144) of Scotland, and Rhys Davies (146) of Wales.
Trip Kuehne of Dallas, Texas, a two-time member of the USA Walker Cup squad (1995 and 2003) and the 1994 Amateur runner-up to Tiger Woods, also advanced at 144.
British Amateur champion Julien Guerrier of France (145) made the long trip worthwhile by advancing. Jon Sauer (146) of St. Cloud, Minn., was the only in-state golfer to advance.
The youngest to advance was 15-year-old Michael McGowan (146), a 10th-grader in Southern Pines, N.C.; the oldest was 37-year-old Mark Strickland of Woodstock, Ga., who owns a sporting goods store. Twins Derek Fathauer (144) and Daryl Fathauer (146), 20, of Jensen Beach, Fla., also advanced.
The cut for match play came at 4-over-par 147, with an 11-way playoff to determine the final 10 spots.The Amateur is the oldest of the 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.