Pak Falls in U.S. Amateur Round of 16
UPDATE (August 15, 2019) -- A 1-up victory in the Round of 32 advanced John Pak to Thursday afternoon's play at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in the 119th U.S. Amateur Championship, but the rising Florida State junior's run in the championship came to an end inthe Round of 16.
Facing Spain's Eduard Rousaud, Pak won the opening two holes on Thursday morning. Rousaud tied the match with wins on Nos. 4-5, but Pak regained and extended his lead with wins on Nos. 8, 9, and 11 on the famed Pinehurst No. 2 layout. Rousaud once again responded with back-to-back wins, but ties on the final five holes earned Pak the 1-up victory.
In the afternoon, No. 64 seed Austin Squires of Union, Ky., continued his run after surviving a 27-for-3 playoff, racing out to a 5-up lead through 10 holes against Pak. Pak won three holes coming in, but Squires held on for the 2-and-1 victory.
UPDATE (August 14, 2019) -- Though five players with Met Area ties advanced to match play in the 119th U.S. Amateur Championship, only John Pak of Scotch Plains, N.J., claimed victory in the opening round to advance to Thursday's play at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club.
Pak, who had a standout sophomore season at Florida State where he set the single-season scoring record (69.56) and gathered All-American honors, earned a 3-and-1 victory in the Round of 64. Though Australia's Blake Windred took a 3-up lead through five holes on Pinehurst's No. 2 course, Pak stormed back by winning the next four holes to take a 1-up lead. After five consecutive ties, Pak then claimed Nos. 15 and 17 for the victory. Pak will face No. 48 seed Eduard Rousaud of Spain at 8:10 a.m.
Stroke play medalist Brandon Wu of Scarsdale, N.Y., was defeated by No. 64 seed Austin Squires after Squires survived a 27-for-3 playoff in the morning which took him four holes and just under four hours to complete. Rising Michigan senior Brent Ito of Ardsley, N.Y., dropped his Round of 64 match, 2-and-1, to Spencer Ralston of Gainesville, Ga.
Meanwhile, 2016 MGA Player of the Year and recently announced Walker Cup Team member Stewart Hagestad fell by a 3-and-2 margin to Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio and Cameron Young of Scarborough, N.Y., lost by a 4-and-3 margin to Jacob Solomon of Auburn, Ala. Both players are slated to compete in the 104th Met Open Championship Presented by Callaway, Aug. 20-22, at Piping Rock Club.
UPDATE (August 14, 2019) -- Brandon Wu of Scarsdale, N.Y., led the field of 312 competitors in the 119th U.S. Amateur Championship over two days, medaling with a 3-under 137 on Pinehurst Resort & Country Club's No. 4 and No. 2 courses. With the top 64 players advancing to match play, the remainder of the championship will be contested on No. 2.
Wu opened with a course record 5-under 65 on Pinehurst No. 4, before sealing the top seed with a 2-over 72 on the championship No. 2 course. He faces Austin Squires of Union, Ky., at 3:10 p.m., after Squires survived a 27-for-3 playoff. Meanwhile, 2016 MGA Player of the Year Stewart Hagestad bounced back from an opening 3-over 73 on No. 2 with a 2-under 68 on No. 4 as he moved up the leaderboard and finished stroke play qualifying tied for 12th. He garners the No. 13 seed and takes on No. 52 Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, Ohio at 11:30 a.m.
Brent Ito of Ardsley, N.Y., Cameron Young of Scarborough, N.Y., and John Pak of Scotch Plains, N.J., all safely advanced to match play as well, posting 4-over 144 totals. The random draw for seeds placed Pak as No. 49, with his match against Australia's Blake Windred already underway. Ito took the No. 53 seed and matches up against Spencer Ralston of Gainesville, Ga., at 12:10 p.m., while Young will face No. 7 seed Jacob Solomon of Auburn, Ala., as the No. 58 seed at 1:00 p.m.
Ethan Ng of New York City and 2019 Ike champion Dawson Jones of Howell, N.J., finished at 5-over for the championship and took part in the 27-for-3 playoff. However, Ng was eliminated after the first hole and Jones after the second.
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (August 13, 2019) -- Following Monday's 18 holes of stroke play qualifying at the 119th U.S. Amateur Championship, several Met Area players are aiming to close strong and advance to match play at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C.
Brandon Wu of Scarsdale, N.Y., fired a course record 5-under 65 on Pinehurst No. 4 – serving as the stroke play companion to the championship No. 2 course – to set the first round pace. Wu's round continues the 22-year-old's spectacular summer, which has included a low-amateur finish at the U.S. Open, his competing in the British Open and just on Sunday a gold medal in the Pan American Games as part of team USA.
Rising Michigan senior and 2014 MGA/MetLife Boys' champion Brent Ito registered a 1-under 69 on No. 2, placing himself in good position entering Tuesday's final 18 holes of stroke play qualifying.
Cameron Young of Scarborough, N.Y., posted a 1-over 71 on No. 4, to give himself an opportunity to make a return to match play in the U.S. Amateur. The Wake Forest graduate, currently No. 44 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, did not compete in the U.S. Amateur last year, but advanced to match play in the event from 2014-2017, making a run to the semifinal round in 2014 at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Several other Met Area players remain within the mix to move on at Pinehurst, but will need quality rounds on Tuesday to hold ground on the leaderboard. Those include 2019 Ike champion Dawson Jones of Howell, N.J., two-time Carter Cup winner Ethan Ng of New York City, and 2016 MGA Player of the Year Stewart Hagestad, who tallied rounds of 2-over, 3-over, and 3-over, respectively. Jones and Ng both play on No. 2 Tuesday, while Hagestad, who has already been named to the U.S. Walker Cup team and ranks No. 7 in WAGR and competed alongside Wu in the Pan American Games, is on No. 4. The 2017 MGA Player of the Year James Nicholas of Scarsdale, N.Y., could also make a move with a quality round, having shot 4-over on No. 4 on Monday.