Salutations. Sad exit by the South Sound products – Tacoma’s T.J. Bordeaux, and the Olympia duo of Cameron Peck and Jarred Bossio – in the opening of the match-play round at the 110th U.S. Amateur.
It’s time to widen the circle of trust – and mention.
Survivors to the round-of-32 include golfers from 18 other states around the nation (with five players, California and Florida have a 1-up lead over the rest of the country, but Georgia’s trio is closing fast), and countries such as Australia (Ryan McCarthy), Canada (Eugene Wong) and Argentina (Emiliano Grillo).
Our coverage from Wednesday:
• The adventurous day of Amory Davis, a University of Virginia product who eventually pulled off the day’s biggest upset of medalist Jeff Wilson, was profiled in my game story.
• Down goes Olympia! Craig Hill wrote about the stunning defeats of Peck and Bossio after they had early leads.
• Again, Bordeaux brought the crowd and the excitement, even though his bid for an opening victory fell short.
• Photo galleries and other tidbits can be found at our U.S. Amateur Website.
As far the altered set-up – the USGA shaved off more than 700 yards off Chambers Bay on Wednesday for the first round – the move got mixed reviews. The golfers were certainly satisfied to see that the course had been softened up in its preparation, but I wasn’t convinced they were all that glad that birdies could be had out there.
In essence, the setup favored the long hitters (Patrick Reed, for example), and eliminated the grinders (nine of 10 mid-amateurs were beaten).
It made birdie more relevant than par – a mentality some of the golfers never adjusted to, especially after the first couple days of qualifying.
“For me, I wanted to have the hardest course out there,” Canadian Nick Taylor said, “and obviously it wasn’t.”
The USGA’s move to get three drivable par-4 holes (No. 5, 10 and 12) in play certainly gave the golfers the risk-reward element they did not have at the start of the tournament. Eagles were made on all three holes; so were double bogeys.
As far as today, to follow the status of the morning matches, click here.
Hill will have a blog entry summarizing the morning round-of-32, and our entire force of reporters will be there for the afternoon round-of-16.