Aug. 25, 2010
UNIVERSITY PLACE, WA - Cal sophomore Max Homa and incoming freshman Ben An have moved on to Round of 32 match play at the 110th U.S. Amateur Championship after victories in the Round of 64 on Wednesday. The event is being played through Sunday at the 7,742-yard, par-71 Chambers Bay.
"It's been a great day for Cal golf," said head coach Steve Desimone. "Both guys came from behind today and played obviously very well to win. I like their chances of advancing."
Homa was a "2 & 1" winner over T.J. Bordeaux, quickly turning a two-hole deficit after 10 holes into a one-shot lead by winning three consecutive holes with birdies on the par-four 11th, 12th and 13th. His birdie on the 17th clinched the win.
Homa will face Carter Newman in his Round of 32 match at 8:10 a.m. on Thursday. Newman was a "2 & 1" winner over Andres Echavarria on Wednesday.
An was three-down to David Dannelly after the first four holes but steadily fought his way back during his "3 & 2" victory. He cut Dannelly's advantage to two holes when he birdied the par-four fifth. Consecutive bogeys by Dannelly on the par-four seventh and par-five eighth evened the match. An bogeyed the par-three ninth to give one a hole back but immediately tied the match again with a birdie on the par-four 10th. The back nine was all An as he birdied the 11th and never looked back, clinching the match with his third birdie of the back nine on the par-four 16th.
"I had a really tough opponent," An told the USGA after his victory. "I struggled the first five holes while he went birdie-eagle. My dad told me I just needed to play my game and get it close. I knew I had 14 holes to go so I just had to get back on my game. I was hitting the ball really well on the range so I knew I had it in me."
An is attempting to defend the 2009 U.S. Amateur title he captured at the age of 17 to become the youngest player to ever win the event.
"Having the experience of last year's U.S. Amateur definitely helped me deal with the pressure of being down in a match," added An.
An will tee off Thursday at 8:40 a.m. in his Round of 32 match against Alex Shi Yup Kim at 11:00 a.m. PT. Kim defeated Tom White by a score of "1 up" when White bogeyed the 18th hole.
Both golfers had qualified for the Round of 64 with their 36-hole performances over the first two rounds of stroke play Monday and Tuesday.
A school-record six current Golden Bears competed in the stroke-play portion of the event that ended Tuesday, with four others ending their tournament on Tuesday including senior John Murphy (T138th, 79-75 - 154, +11), sophomore James Coré (T180th, 78-78 - 156, +13), senior Eric Mina (T212th, 73-85 - 158, +15) and freshman Ben Mangum (T305th, 89-83 - 172).