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Five Texan boys advanced to the second round of match play in the U.S. Junior Amateur championship at the Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H. Seven juniors from Texas were among the 64 who qualified for the match play portion of the championship after 36 holes of stroke play.
The Texas boys have accounted for four of the past 12 U.S. Junior Amateur titles and three of the past five. University of Texas standout Jordan Spieth won the titles in 2009 and 2011—the only golfer other than Tiger Woods to win the U.S. Junior Am more than once—and Houston’s Cory Whitsett, one of the top players at Alabama, won it in 2007. Plano’s Matthew Rosenfeld also won the USGA title in 2000.
McKinney’s Branson Davis, who earned the seventh seed in match play with an even-par 144 score in stroke play, defeated Jooho Lee from Canada, 4 and 3. Davis lost the first hole with a bogey, but squared his match on the par-5 third when Lee made a triple-bogey 8. Davis won the next two holes and cruised to victory.
Dallas native Scottie Scheffler, the 12th seed with a 2-over 146 stroke play score, routed Branson Bauman from Las Vegas, 7 and 6. Scheffler won the first hole, then won the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth holes to take a 6-up lead. Scheffler ended the match four holes later with a bogey.
“I birdied two in a row and Brandon looked almost defeated,” Scheffler said. “I tried to cruise in after that, and I hit a lot of fairways and greens. I didn’t make too many mistakes. He birdied the ninth to get some momentum, but then I birdied the next two holes to get the momentum back.”
Scheffler’s friend, Connor Black from Houston earned the 24th seed in match play. Black moved on to the second round with a 4-and-3 victory against Nick Hardy from Northbrook, Ill. Black took a 1-up lead on the first hole and never got himself into any trouble after that.
“There really wasn’t a turning point,” Black said. “I had the lead and kept it all day. My six-foot par save putt on the par-5 fifth was a big tie and kept things in my control.”
Black went 2 up with a birdie on the 420-yard par-4 ninth, and he increased his lead to 3 up with another birdie on the 434-yard par-4 12th. Black closed out Hardy with a birdie on the par-5 15th hole.
“The course is playing just under 7,200 yards,” Black said. “The greens are running about 12 right now I’m guessing. The rough is thick; there’s no first cut. The greens are firming up and I’m expecting that they will continue to firm up as the week progresses.”
McKinney’s Vincent Whaley is also moving on to the Round of 32. He defeated Tom Swanson from Missoula, Mont. 2 and 1. Whaley never trailed in his match and mounted a 4-up lead through 10 holes. Swanson rallied to win the next three holes, but Whaley finally closed him out on with a par on the 187-yard, par-3 17th hole.
Houston’s David Lee won his match, 5 and 4, over Caleb Proveaux from Leesville, S.C. Lee took two 1-up leads only to see Proveaux square the match both times. A birdie on No. 9 gave Lee his third lead. This time Lee held off his opponent and turned up the heat with wins on the four holes to end the match.
McKinney’s Brad Dalke lost his first round match 3 and 2 to Robby Shelton, the Wilmer, Ala., junior who ended Spieth’s 2010 title defend in the second round with a 1-up victory. Plano’s William Zalatoris also lost, 5 and 4, to Derek Bard from New Hartford, N.Y.
The Round of 32 begins Thursday morning. For U.S. Junior Am live scoring, click here.
On the other side of the country, five Texas girls competed in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif. Only one Texan advanced, however.
Julia Beck from Austin scored a 4-and-3 victory against Annie Park from Levittown, N.Y., to advance to the Round of 32. Beck took a 1-up lead after the first hole and never let Park get close after that. Beck was 3 up after five holes, but the match extended to the 15th hole before Beck closed out the match with a par.
Courtney Dow from Frisco lost in 19 holes to Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J. Lindsey McCurdy of Kyle lost 1 down to Kathleen Scavo from Benicia, Calif. Maddie Szeryk of Allen lost, 3 and 2, to Alison Lee from Valencia, Calif. Tyler’s Haley Mills also lost. Mills was defeated, 4 and 3, to Lauren Diaz-Yi from Thousand Oaks, Calif.
The second round of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur begins Thursday morning. For live scoring, click here.