Seven Players Compete For Final Three Spots
August 14, 2012
PEBBLE BEACH – While the 36-hole competition was officially closed by Tournament Chairman Lee Gidney around 6:35 Tuesday night, golf was still being played more than an hour later. With eight players finishing at 6-over par 150, a sudden-death playoff was needed to decide the final three seeds (No. 30-32) for match play.
The groups were paired off in two foursomes with the first four scores posted to tee off in the first group and the last four 150s to go off in the second group. That number was quickly reduced to seven players when Austin Weatherholt was eliminated by not showing up. The first group to tee off the par-4 10th hole included Kyle Bowser, Eric Taylor and Mac McClung. Two players were able to convert birdies as Taylor rammed an 18-foot birdie putt into the back of the cup and a minute later McClung calmly made his six-foot birdie putt. The second foursome included players Taylor Knoll, Sean Dyer, Matt Ogden and Dalan Refioglu and didn’t yield any birdies, which solidified Taylor and McClung’s spots as the 30th and 31st seed, respectively.
With Ogden bogeying the first playoff hole, the second playoff hole—No. 9—had four players competing for one remaining spot. All four players failed to hit the ninth green in regulation, but Knoll and Dyer were able to get up-and-down for par to advance to a third playoff hole—No. 10.
After exchanging pars on the third playoff hole, Knoll and Dyer returned to the ninth hole, their fourth playoff hole. Dyer looked to have the advantage when his ball found the fairway, while Knoll pulled his tee shot into the left rough. However, Knoll was able to get his ball onto the green, albeit 50 feet away and above the hole, while Dyer hit his ball into the front right bunker. With Knoll away, the 19-year-old had a tricky downhill putt, which he hit 15 feet past. Dyer answered by hitting his bunker shot within 10 feet of the hole, and looked to have the advantage. However, Knoll’s putt found the center of the cup, placing the pressure back on Dyer, who missed his uphill putt for a bogey.
At 7:39 p.m. on Tuesday, the match play bracket was finally complete with Knoll getting rewarded by playing the No. 1 seed Jay Myers Wednesday a little more than 12 hours later. Despite his tough draw Knoll is glad to have a chance.
“I have played in a couple of college tournaments with [Myers] and he’s a good player,” said Knoll. “It should be a fun match tomorrow.”