Sports

Defending champion ousted, co-medalists advance at 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links

Jesse Schutte, 18, of Florence, Ore., used a hot putter to eliminate defending champion Clay Ogden of West Point, Utah, in Wednesday’s first round of match play at the 81st U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, being played at the par-72, 7,061-yard Gold Mountain Golf Club.

Also ousted was the 2005 APL runner-up, Martin Ureta, 20, of Chile, who lost in 20 holes to Joseph Prince, 28, of Chula Vista, Calif.

Leading those who advanced to the second round were stroke-play co-medalists Justin Metzger, 21, of Knoxville, Tenn., and Mitch Cohlmia, 21, of Tulsa, Okla.

In what was a close match throughout, Schutte and Ogden were all square through 10 holes when Ogden bogeyed the par-5 11th to give Schutte a one-hole advantage. Schutte then won the par-3 12th when he made a 15-foot birdie putt and Ogden could not convert his birdie try from 20 feet. Ogden did get one back with a conceded birdie at the 13th, but Schutte regained a 2-up edge with a birdie at the 14th.

“Whenever I hit a good shot, he would respond,” said Schutte. “It was a great match all day, back and forth.”

After the two traded pars at the 15th hole, both birdied the par-3 16th when Schutte converted a 30-foot putt and Ogden matched from 8 feet. On the par-4 17th, Ogden hit his approach shot to within 10 feet, but Schutte sank his 15-foot birdie putt to earn the victory.

“He made the putts when it came down the stretch,” said Ogden. “I felt like I made a really good putt on 16 to keep it going, and I hit a great drive and great approach on 17, but he didn’t give me a chance.”

Schutte, who was so frustrated with his putter during his APL sectional qualifier that he damaged it and had to finish his round using a sand wedge to putt, wasn’t intimidated playing against the defending champion.

“I was stoked,” said Schutte, who is playing in his first USGA championship. “I was well prepared and came in wanting to start out the week with an upset.”

Down two holes in his match against Jeff Berkshire, 22, of Phoenix, Ariz., Metzger won the ninth when Berkshire hit into a water hazard, and squared the match on the 15th hole when Berkshire missed a four-foot par putt. Berkshire regained a one-hole lead on the 17th when he made a 10-foot birdie putt. But on the 18th tee, Berkshire, playing first, hit his drive well left of the fairway, into an area of tall grass. Metzger, meanwhile, was safely on the fairway.

“I was kind of frustrated because I know it’s not over until it’s over, but he had a great opportunity,” said Metzger. “But after I saw him hit it left, I knew I had a legitimate chance to get to extra holes.”

That he did, as Berkshire was unable to get up and down and Metzger won the hole with a conceded par.

“I was very lucky to get to extra holes,” said Metzger. “I thought, ‘you haven’t been playing well all day, and you got a break, so take advantage of it.’ “

On the 19th hole, the par-4, 460-yard first, Metzger got another break when Berkshire hit his approach from the rough well right of the green. Metzger, from the left rough, hit a 6-iron from 181 yards to 25 feet below the hole. Berkshire’s chip shot skidded across the green, leaving him a long par putt. Metzger’s 25-foot birdie attempt rolled to within inches of the hole and was conceded. When Berkshire’s 12-foot par putt missed, Metzger had the victory.

“I feel very fortunate to escape with that,” said Metzger. “Jeff played solid all day and made a lot of great putts on the front nine and got me down early. I just wasn’t as sharp as I was the last couple of days and I was just trying to hang in there.”

Cohlmia had a somewhat easier route to victory, with a 3-and-1 win over Kevin Wentworth, 22, of Arnold, Calif. Wentworth was 2 up after four holes, but Cohlmia came back to win four consecutive holes, starting at the par-4 seventh, to turn the tide in his favor.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried to start out because I got two down pretty quick,” said Cohlmia. “But I just missed a few fairways to start out with and made bogeys. But I felt pretty confident because he wasn’t really making birdies to beat me. It was just me making bogeys.”

Also winning first-round matches were 2005 USA Walker Cupper Anthony Kim, 21, of Traverse City, Mich., 2001 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Henry Liaw, 20, of Rowland Heights, Calif., and 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur winner Sihwan Kim, 17, of Buena Park, Calif.

The second and third rounds of the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links are scheduled for Thursday and the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will be played Friday. The championship concludes with Saturday’s 36-hole final match.

The U.S. Amateur Public Links is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Results after the first round of match play Wednesday at the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at the 7,061-yard, par-72 Gold Mountain Golf Club:

Justin Metzger, Knoxville, Tenn. (137) vs. Jeff Berkshire, Phoenix, Ariz. (150), 19 holes

Kevin Larsen, Santa Barbara, Calif. (146) def. Derek Busby, Ruston, La. (146), 5 and 4

Derek Fathauer, Jensen Beach, Fla. (143) def. Andrew Yun, Tacoma, Wash. (148), 3 and 2

Keegan Bradley, Jackson, Wyo. (148) def. Ben Fox, Studio City, Calif. (143), 6 and 4

Derek Berg, Duvall, Wash. (142) def. Ryan Keeney, Redmond, Wash. (150), 19 holes

Kyle Ritchie, Corning, Iowa (147) def. Adam Wynia, Sioux Falls, S.D. (145), 20 holes

Zack Byrd, Calabash, N.C. (142) def. Josh Wilks, Tucson, Ariz. (149), 5 and 4

Matt Savage, Louisville, Ky. (145) def. Derrick Whiting, Alexandria, Minn. (147), 2 and 1

Brad Marek, Arlington Heights, Ill. (150) def. J.C. Horne, Daytona Beach, Fla. (139), 19 holes

Jerre Maynor Jr, Nashville, Tenn. (146) def. Tarik Can, Augusta, Ga. (147), 1 up

Anthony Kim, Traverse City, Mich. (143) def. Lucas Lee, Brazil (149), 2 and 1

Rory Hie, Los Angeles, Calif. (144) def. James Hockman, Norfolk, Va. (148), 3 and 2

John Cassidy, Yelm, Wash. (140) def. Brandon Pike, Huntington, Ind. (150), 4 and 3

Kane Hanson, Detroit Lakes, Minn. (147) def. Brad Hastings, Easton, Md. (146), 3 and 2

Brodie Flanders, Canada (143) def. Jesse Massie, Louisville, Ky. (149), 20 holes

Matt Harmon, Grand Rapids, Mich. (144) def. Sean Maekawa, Paauilo, Hawaii (148), 3 and 2

Mitch Cohlmia, Tulsa, Okla. (137) def. Kevin Wentworth, Arnold, Calif. (150), 3 and 1

Kevin Foley, Somerville, N.J. (146) def. Tadd Fujikawa, Honolulu, Hawaii (146), 3 and 2

Tze Huang Choo, Singapore (143) def. Michael Barbosa, St Petersburg, Fla. (148), 3 and 1

Sihwan Kim, Buena Park, Calif. (144) def. Billy Horschel, Grant, Fla. (148), 2 up

Scotty Jones, East Palestine, Ohio (141) def. Jay Lindell, Lakewood, N.Y. (150), 19 holes

Brent Paladino, Kensington, Conn. (145) def. William Mitchell, Roswell, Ga. (147), 23 holes

Cole Moreland, Austin, Texas (149) def. Brian Carroll, Crystal Lake, Ill. (142), 19 holes

Tim Feenstra, Lynden, Wash. (147) def. Cory Segall, La Jolla, Calif. (145), 3 and 2

Joseph Prince, Chula Vista, Calif. (150) def. Martin Ureta, Chile (138), 20 holes

Chad Cooper, Lafayette, Ind. (147) def. Zachary Sebert, Columbus, Ohio (146), 5 and 3

Jesse Schutte, Florence, Ore. (148) def. Clay Ogden, West Point, Utah (143), 2 and 1

Casey Watabu, Kapaa, Hawaii (148) def. Raymond Sheedy, Keymar, Md. (144), 22 holes

Lindsay Renolds, Canada (141) def. Hernan Borja, Kingwood, Texas (150), 3 and 2

Daniel Im, Fullerton, Calif. (147) def. Charles Soule, Longmont, Colo. (146), 4 and 3

Jeff Daniels, Harrisburg, Pa. (142) def. Derek Tolan, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (149), 4 and 2

Henry Liaw, Rowland Heights, Calif. (144) def. Terrence Miskell, New Braunfels, Texas (148), 2 and 1

Pairings for the second round of match play Thursday at the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at the 7,061-yard, par-72 Gold Mountain Golf Club:

7:30 a.m. Justin Metzger, Knoxville, Tenn. (137) vs. Kevin Larsen, Santa Barbara, Calif. (146)

7:39 a.m. Derek Fathauer, Jensen Beach, Fla. (143) vs. Keegan Bradley, Jackson, Wyo. (148)

7:48 a.m. Derek Berg, Duvall, Wash. (142) vs. Kyle Ritchie, Corning, Iowa (147)

7:57 a.m. Zack Byrd, Calabash, N.C. (142) vs. Matt Savage, Louisville, Ky. (145)

8:06 a.m. Brad Marek, Arlington Heights, Ill. (150) vs. Jerre Maynor Jr, Nashville, Tenn. (146)

8:15 a.m. Anthony Kim, Traverse City, Mich. (143) vs. Rory Hie, Los Angeles, Calif. (144)

8:24 a.m. John Cassidy, Yelm, Wash. (140) vs. Kane Hanson, Detroit Lakes, Minn. (147)

8:33 a.m. Brodie Flanders, Canada (143) vs. Matt Harmon, Grand Rapids, Mich. (144)

8:42 a.m. Mitch Cohlmia, Tulsa, Okla. (137) vs. Kevin Foley, Somerville, N.J. (146)

8:51 a.m. Tze Huang Choo, Singapore (143) vs. Sihwan Kim, Buena Park, Calif. (144)

9:00 a.m. Scotty Jones, East Palestine, Ohio (141) vs. Brent Paladino, Kensington, Conn. (145)

9:09 a.m. Cole Moreland, Austin, Texas (149) vs. Tim Feenstra, Lynden, Wash. (147)

9:18 a.m. Joseph Prince, Chula Vista, Calif. (150) vs. Chad Cooper, Lafayette, Ind. (147)

9:27 a.m. Jesse Schutte, Florence, Ore. (148) vs. Casey Watabu, Kapaa, Hawaii (148)

9:36 a.m. Lindsay Renolds, Canada (141) vs. Daniel Im, Fullerton, Calif. (147)

9:45 a.m. Jeff Daniels, Harrisburg, Pa. (142) vs. Henry Liaw, Rowland Heights, Calif. (144)

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