17 Aug 2022 | Amateur golf |
McKinney, Hopewell advance, Vilips waits at US Amateur
by Dane Heverin
Australians Connor McKinney and Hayden Hopewell have advanced to the Round of 64, while fellow West Australian Karl Vilips will have to wait for a playoff at the US Amateur at The Ridgewood Country Club and Arcola Country Club in New Jersey.
Only two players in the field of 312 went lower than reigning Australian Amateur champion McKinney on Tuesday who fired home three birdies in his two-under round of 68 at Arcola.
McKinney was also one of only 16 players to break par for the day and he moved him into a a tie for 14th at one-over par as a result.
He will face a big test on Wednesday however, as the St Andrews Links Trophy winner has been pitted against the low amateur at this year's US Open, American Travis Vick, in the first match play round.
Hopewell produced a far more up-and-down round at Ridgewood, but his one-over effort was enough to move up the leaderboard into a tie for 30th.
The Royal Fremantle member teed off in the final group of the day and commenced proceedings with birdies at the first and second before experiencing a major a hiccup.
A triple-bogey at the fourth followed by a bogey at the fifth left Hopewell with his back against the wall to stay inside the top 64 and he responded strongly.
Five consecutive pars immediately afterwards steadied him, but a bogey-birdie-birdie-bogey-birdie run from the 11th to the 15th secured his matchup with Argentine Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira.
Vilips will have to take part in a playoff early on Wednesday morning at Ridgewood - which will also host all of the match play rounds - between 15 players from the final 11 match play places.
The Stanford University student was within the safe spots on the leaderboard for most of the day but a double bogey at the par-3 seventh - he teed off from the tenth at Arcola - late in his round pushed him to three-over for the round and five-over for the tournament.
Fellow Australians Jack Buchanan (+9) and Harrison Crowe (+15) missed the cut with Buchanan shooting seven-over at Arcola and Crowe shooting nine-over at Ridgewood in the second round.
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