BROOKLINE, Mass. (CBS/AP) — Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers survived a playoff Wednesday to advance to match play, then beat Sean Dale 3 and 2 of Jacksonville, Fla., in the first round of the U.S. Amateur at The Country Club.
The 21-year-old Rodgers, who will represent the U.S. next month in the Walker Cup, will face England’s Greg Eason in the second round.
“I would rather just have gotten through clean in stroke play, that would have been really nice,” said Rodgers, who tied for 15th last month in the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic. “But it’s all part of this tournament. There’s almost 250 players that get cut, so it’s a tough cut to make and I had some adversity this week and that won’t be the last time.”
Rodgers overcame a lot of problems to reach match play.
“My group got a stroke penalty for slow play on the first day, I got a ball stuck in a tree and I triple-bogeyed my third-to-last-hole yesterday and made a 30-footer to get in the playoff,” Rodgers said.
One of five players already named to the 10-man Walker Cup team, Rodgers was the only one who made it to match play. Cal’s Max Homa and Michael Kim, along with Alabama’s Justin Thomas and Cory Whitsett, failed to make the cut.
“It’s disappointing to see that they missed but I’m sure they’ll be ready,” Rodgers said.
Eason beat another Californian, 2012 runner-up Michael Weaver of Fresno, 3 and 2.
Qualifying medalists Neil Raymond of England and Brady Watt of Australia advanced on the windy day. Raymond, trying to become the first English winner since Harold Hilton in 1911, edged Californian Jason Anthony of Fairfeld, 1 up, and Brady topped Texas’ Sean Walsh, 5 and 3.
Jordan Niebrugge, the Oklahoma State player who swept the U.S. Amateur Public Links and Western Amateur, dropped out, falling 1 up to Seth Reeves of Georgia.
Brandon Hagy, the lone member of the talented five-man University of California team to survive the cut and a semifinalist last year, advanced with a 19-hole victory over Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia.
Gouveia, an Amateur quarterfinalist last year, made a 30-foot putt on 18 to force the extra hole, but Nagy won with a par on the first extra hole.
“I’m the last Bear in the field,” he said. “I’m confident in match play. I’m right there and just got to keep doing what I’m doing.”
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