The marathon continues as the match play portion of the NCGA Amateur goes from 32 to 8 players for tomorrow’s quarter and semi-final matches at the beautiful Spyglass Hill. Today two matches were played under very skies, making visibility an issue. The cold and brisk conditions made the course play long and tough, but the scoring in the matches was quite impressive. It looked like Spencer Fletcher was 6 under par in his afternoon match over my new friend Sebastian who had a great tournament at age 15.
The conditions at Spyglass Hill remain to be amongst the best I’ve seen over the past 30 years playing in this event. We are privileged to have the opportunity to play our major championships at such an amazing venue like Spyglass. This course is tough from start to finish, and requires a player to stay mentally tough. I have always enjoyed Spyglass Hill as one of my favorite courses anywhere in the world.
Through my hacking cough and pinched nerve in my neck, I was able to come out on top against my pal and good friend Nick Ushijima. Nick didn’t play up to is usual high standard, but we still had a nice morning walking the fairways at the Glass. Geoff Gonzalez the 200 9 State Am champion, was my afternoon match which I knew was going to require a very solid round or I’d be heading home. From the 7th tee through the 17th hole I played 3 under par golf to win 3-1 on the 17th hole.
Tomorrow the grind continues with another possible 36 hole day at Spyglass, but for that to happen I will need to get past the hot Cameron Rappleye who had to shoot a back nine 31 just to make match play, then ousted my pal and fellow Olympian Andrew Biggadike 2-1 and then throttled Wes Sandroni 6-4. I’m sure tomorrow will be tough and will require some high level play to advance against all these kids that don’t seem to mind all the back to back 36 hole days.
If I advance past the quarter-finals I will not be on the 3:45 pm flight to Milwaukee for the US Amateur, if I’m fortunate to make the finals on Friday, I’ll be on the red-eye to Milwaukee arriving at 6am, and ready for my practice round on Sat. Given the choice to have a chance to win the NCGA Amateur vs. being at the US AM in time for the practice rounds, it’s a no brainer, I’ll always take the NCGA, and get to the AM when I can.
I have totally butchered the tough par 3 5th hole 4 times now (two in qualifying rounds and two in match play) tomorrow I look to clean up my act on the 4-6 hole stretch that I’ve played poorly. Check out the live scoring for the quarterfinal matches at http://www.ncga.org and STAY TUNED!!
Article from the NCGA site