BROOKLINE, Mass. — Xander Schauffele birdied holes 14 and 15 to break an all-square tie and post a 2-and-1 victory over Georgia Southern’s Scott Wolfes in the round of 32 match play at the 113th U.S. Amateur Championship at The Country Club Thursday afternoon.
The setback knocksed Wolfes out of title contention. The junior trailed by a hole but parred 13 while Schauffele bogeyed, tying the match. Schauffele responded with two straight birdies, while Wolfes double bogeyed 14 and parred 15 to fall two holes behind.
“He hit it to two feet for birdie on 14 so I had to try and chip in,” said Wolfes. “Then he hit it to two feet again on 15.”
The duo both parred 16 and 17 to end the match. The pair recorded par on the first two holes of the day, and Wolfes parred holes 3 and 4 to take a 2 up lead as Schauffele posted bogies. Bogies by Wolfes on holes 5 and 8 brought the match back to all square, where it stayed for the next four holes.
Schauffele took over from there, birdieing three of the final six holes. He birdied 12 to take a brief lead but bogeyed 13, where Wolfes registered par to tie the match again. Schauffele responded with the two straight birdies to take the lead for good.
Wolfes made it to the final 32 of 312 competitors who advanced through qualifying to play The Country Club at Brookline. Of the 312, 64 made the cut to match play after two rounds of stroke play. The USGA accepted 7,002 entries for the 2013 championship as entries were open to any amateur golfer with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 2.4.
“It helps give me confidence heading into the season that I can compete with the top players in the country,” said Wolfes, who has had a busy summer.
He advanced to Sectional Qualifying, the final stage for U.S. Open hopefuls, by winning his local qualifying tournament in May and among the many other amateur events he played in was qualifying for the U.S. Amateur. That feat took surviving a five-hole playoff and sinking a 20-foot putt for birdie on hole 18 at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course in July.
On the outside looking in after the first round of stroke play Monday, Wolfes fired a 67, the lowest score of the day at The Country Club, to tie for ninth and advance to match play. He then topped Mario Clemens, who won the Mexican Amateur Championship in June, 2 and 1 yesterday.