Zahringer, Eaton Win Second Round Matches; Tilley and Hoffman Come Up Short
George Zahringer III (left) of Deepdale, who at 52 is the oldest player to advance to match play at the 2005 U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA, beat Chandler Cocco of Oregon with a birdie on the first extra hole of his first match to move on to the round of 32. Zahringer then went on to beat Oliver Fisher of England by an impressive 5 & 4 margin to move into the round on 16. The 2002 U.S. Mid Amateur champions, who had an exemption into the field this year, went to the quarter finals in this event in 2003 and in 1992.
Met area native Austin Eaton, the reigning U.S. Mid Amateur Champion who competed out of Sterling Farms, Golf Club in CT until 2003, also had a great showing in the stroke play portion finishing at 141 and in a tie for 5th place and wining his first match 2 & 1 over Pablo Martin of Spain. Eaton would also move into the round of 16 by defeating Seung-Su Han of Las Vegas, NV, 3 & 1.
Brad Tilley of Sleepy Hollow, the only other Met Area player to make match play also won his first round match with a birdie on the 19th hole defeating Jon-Michael Socaris of Voorheesville, NY. Unfortunately, Tilley lost his next match to Korey Mahoney of East Lansing, MI, 2up. Tilley, 22, the 2005 Westchester Amateur champion and winner of the Ike Championship in 2003, was playing in his third U.S. Amateur but this was the first time he reached match play.
Morgan Hoffman of Arcola , winner of the 2005 Carter Cup/MGA Junior Stroke Play Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club on August 5th, was the youngest player to advance to the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur Championship. Hoffman, who turned 16 on August 11th, had to survive a 19-way playoff to earn one of the 17 remaining spots after posting rounds of 76-70 -146 after 36 holes of stroke play. Hoffman lost a close first round match to J.C. Choi of Japan 2&1.