U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship
Soldier Hollow GC
July 9-14, 2012
July 13, 2012
Derek Ernst of Clovis fell short in his semifinal run at the U.S. Amateur Public Links at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah as he lost to T.J. Vogel 4 and 3. Vogel got hot quickly making three straight birdies not allowing Ernst to get back in the match. When Ernst made bogey on the fourth hole he found himself already 3 down. Vogel would go onto make another birdie on the eighth hole to go 4 up and by that point needed lots of birdies to get back in the match, which he did to some degree. Ernst made back-to-back birdies on Nos. nine and 10, but Vogel matched his birdie on 10, only cutting the lead to 3 down. Vogel would go onto make birdies on 13 and 15 to close out the match. Overall, Vogel shot lights out making seven birdies and one bogey in 15 holes.
Ernst played stellar this morning, very reminiscent of how he was playing yesterday, beating Brad Schneider in the quarterfinal round 4 and 3. Just as he had in his previous two matches Ernst never let his opponent in the match as he won the opening hole with a par and never looked back. The Clovis resident won three straight holes, Nos. three, four and five all with birdies to go 4 up. Ernst let Schneider back in the match with mistakes on the eighth (bogey) and eleventh (double bogey) to cut his lead to 2 up, but he quickly got things back in order by making birdies on 13 and 15 to close it out.
The top-ranked NCGA member in the amateur world rankings was looking to once again make it to the 36-hole final match just as he had in 2011 at Bandon Dunes. There Ernst fell just short of the title of U.S. Public Links champion as he lost in 37 holes.
July 12, 2012
Derek Ernst of Clovis advanced through the rounds of 32 and 16 in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Soldier Hollow GC in Midway, Utah on Thursday. In the morning he took a 5 and 4 victory over Richard Hattori. Ernst matched his opponent the first five holes with four pars and a birdie, before going on a tear of three straight birdies. Ernst birdied the sixth, seventh and eighth holes and then parred the ninth to win four straight holes and make the turn at 4 up. On the 11th hole Ernst would win with a par to go 5 up and cruise to victory with halves on the next three holes. Ernst played some stellar golf over those 14 holes converting four birdies and no bogeys, and most importantly not losing a single hole.
He carried that momentum to his afternoon match against San Diego’s Xander Schaufelle by beating him 5 and 4 as well. Ernst led all but one hole of the match—the second hole. After winning the first hole with a birdie Ernst made his only bogey of the day on the par-4 second hole to bring the match back to even. However, he quickly turned things around with birdies on the third and sixth hole to go 2 up. Back-to-back bogeys by his opponent on Nos. 10 and 11 and a birdie of his own on the 12th put Ernst 5 up with seven to play, which all but closed out the match.
Fellow Clovis resident Bryson DeChambeau wasn’t as successful in his morning match as he lost 1 up in 18 holes to SCGA member Jacob Knapp of Costa Mesa. Knapp took the lead after winning the first hole and held the lead until the 16th hole, when DeChambeau squared the match with a birdie. After the two halved the 17th hole, Knapp closed out the match with a birdie.
Ernst is the only NCGA member remaining in the championship and will continue his run on Friday as he faces Brad Schneider in his quarterfinal match. If Ernst wins that match he will play a semifinal match at 11:45 a.m. PST. Last year Ernst advanced all the way to the championship’s final match where he lost in 37 holes.
July 11, 2012
Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis advanced to the round of 32 in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Soldier Hollow GC in Midway, Utah on Wednesday. The 18 year-old had to beat out fellow NCGA member Cody Robinson of Discovery Bay in order to do so, winning 2 and 1. The Clovis resident took an early 2 up lead after six holes due to bogeys by Robinson, but it didn’t last long as Robinson won the par-5 eighth hole with an eagle and the par-4 ninth with a par. After halving the next four holes, DeChambeau took a 1 up lead on the 14th with a birdie and closed out the match on the 17th with another.
Derek Ernst of Clovis was the penultimate match to tee off, but was the last match to finish by a good 45 minutes. Ernst went up early in his match against Kirby Pettitt and actually led for 13 of the first 15 holes. When Ernst made his third birdie of the day on the par-4 10th hole to go 3 up with eight holes to play, it looked as if the match would soon end. However, back-to-back bogeys by Ernst on holes 12 and 13 and a birdie by Pettitt on the 16th squared the match. Ernst looked done after Pettitt made another birdie on the 17th to go 1 up with one to play, but a bogey-5 on the par-4 18th by Pettitt forced extra holes, allowing Ernst to win in 19 holes after a Pettitt bogey.
Ben Geyer of Arbuckle, who had performed brilliantly two weeks ago in the match play portion of the California State Amateur losing in the final, ran out gas on Wednesday as he lost his match in 18 holes. Geyer got down early, but as he did so many times last week he came back. Finding himself 1 down through seven holes Geyer won the eighth, ninth and 11th to take a 2 up lead and looked to be in control of the match. However, his opponent, Cody McManus, would go onto birdie holes 12, 14 and 16 to go 1 up, which would eventually be the match result after halves on 17 and 18.
Thursday’s matches begin at 6:00 a.m. PST with DeChambeau teeing off at 7:50 a.m. PST and Ernst in the final group at 8:30 a.m. PST. If the two Clovis residents win their morning matches they will advance to the round of 16, which will take place in the afternoon. DeChambeau would tee off at 12:20 p.m. PST, while Ernst would tee off at 12:40 p.m. PST.
July 10, 2012
Clovis resident Bryson DeChambeau advanced to the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Soldier Hollow GC in Midway, Utah, which will begin on Wednesday. DeChambeau posted a two-day score of even-par 142, which included a 2-under par 69 on Monday and a 2-over par 73 on Tuesday. Interestingly enough, the 18 year-old looked to be on his way to another under-par round on Tuesday after birdieing his 16th hole, the 233 yard par-3 seventh. However, an errant tee shot into the tall native grass on the par-5 eighth got DeChambeau in trouble. After finding what appeared to be his ball, the soon-to-be SMU Mustang, hit his ball out of the tall grass and back into play. But when he approached his ball for his next shot, DeChambeau realized that it was a wrong ball. Because of his error in judgment DeChambeau had to go back to the tee and ended up taking a triple-bogey-8 on the hole. While playing a wrong ball isn’t necessarily uncommon, what made his mistake unique was that it was a ball he had played during one of his practice rounds as it had the exact same markings on it, but just happened to be a different numbered golf ball.
With his finish DeChambeau found himself in a tie for 21st place and is the 23rd seed. He will face in the first round fellow NCGA member Cody Robinson of Discovery Bay, who finished in an 11-way tie for 33rd place, giving him the 42nd seed. Robinson finished two days of play with a score of 144, 2-over par, which consisted of rounds of 73 and 71. The two NCGA members will tee off at 10:50 a.m. PST.
Other NCGA players in the field that also advanced to match play include Derek Ernst and Ben Geyer. Ernst of Clovis was runner-up at this event last year, and shot the lowest 36-hole score among NCGA members in the field with a 2-under 140. Ernst fired back-to-back 70s on Monday and Tuesday good enough to finish in a six-way tie for 10th place, earning the 11th seed. He will once again try to make a run at the title as he tees off in the second to last pairing Wednesday at noon PST against Kirby Pettitt of Carroll, Iowa. Arbuckle’s Ben Geyer, fresh off his California State Amateur runner-up performance less than two weeks ago, advanced to match play with a 36-hole score of 145. Geyer’s rounds of 72 and 73 were good enough for him to tie for 44th place and earn the 45th seed. He will be the first NCGA member to tee off Wednesday at 8:50 a.m. PST as he faces Cody McManus of Phoenix.
No playoff was needed for the 64-player field match play bracket as exactly 64 players finished with a 36-hole score of 4-over or better. Unfortunately, NCGA member Alex Bungert of Elk Grove was one-stroke shy of that number as he finished at 5-over par, 147. Other NCGA members to miss the cut include Andrej Bevins of Elk Grove (148), Adam Loran of San Jose (150) and Ted Moerhke of Vacaville (170).
Wednesday Tee Times (PST):
8:50 a.m. No. 20 Cody McManus vs. No. 45 Ben Geyer
10:50 a.m. No. 23 Bryson DeChambeau vs. No. 42 Cody Robinson
Noon No. 11 Derek Ernst vs. No. 54 Kirby Pettitt