Afternoon thunderstorms delayed play at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Martis Camp Resort in Truckee Thursday afternoon, preventing completion of the third round of matchplay. Two separate suspensions of play, totaling 3 hours and 7 minutes, put off the completion of the round of 16 until Friday, July 26.
Morning matches in the round of 32 saw two of the remaining four Northern California players fall by the wayside. San Francisco’s Daniel Conolly fell to Trevor Phillips, of Inman, SC, and Maverick McNealy of Portola Valley was defeated by Scottie Scheffler of Dallas, TX.
Connolly, who finished T-18 with a 1-over 145 in the stroke play portion of the tournament, advanced to the Round of 32 by holding off a late-charging Jacob Joiner, of Albany, GA, in their Wednesday match. The young San Francisan never gained any traction in his Thursday-morning match against Trevor Phillips, though, and after opening with two holes all-square, trailed until his opponent closed out the match, 3-and-2, at the 16th hole.
Stanford-bound rising freshman McNealy hung tough early, but never led, in his match against Scheffler, who finished third in the stroke-play portion of the event with a 5-under 139. With the match all square after the fifth hole, the Texan took the lead and never relinquished it. McNealy pushed back with birdies at the fifteenth and sixteenth holes to reduce Scheffler’s lead to 1 hole, but par-par finishes by both boys ended his chance to square the match and take it into extra holes.
Roseville’s Corey Eddings, the most local player in the championship, advanced to the Round of 32 with a 3-and-2 defeat of Canadian Jooho Lee at the sixteenth hole. After a seesaw run in the early holes of the match Eddings, who posted one of three 67s – one off of the course record of 66 – in the first round of stroke play, re-took the lead at the eleventh hole and never looked back. In his weather-delayed Round of 32 match against Doug Ghim, of Arlington, IL, however, he didn’t fare as well. All square through the first three holes, Ghim took the lead with a birdie at the par-5 fourth hole and held off Eddings until closing out the match at the fifteenth hole, 4-up.
The final Northern California player in the tournament, San Jose’s Justin Suh, took the lead in his morning match against Corey Shaun of Encinitas at the second hole, and though he led for the remainder of the match, Shaun won the tenth, fourteenth and sixteenth holes to prevent a runaway victory by Suh. With the match dormie-2 after the sixteenth hole, Suh put it away, 3-and-1, with a birdie at the 217-yard par-3 seventeenth hole.
Suh’s Round of 16 match against Scottie Scheffler was interrupted by the weather delays, and ultimately halted due to darkness at 8:25 p.m. PDT, all square with three holes left to play. The Suh-Scheffler match is one of three that will be concluded Friday morning, with play resuming at 7:00 PDT. Cameron Young, of Scarborough, NY and George Cunningham, of Tucson, AZ, are all square at the eighteenth hole, and Nick Heinen, of Edmond, OK, and P.J. Samiere, of Kailua, HI, are all square at the fourteenth.
After the conclusion of the three remaining matches, Doug Ghim will face the winner of the Young/Cunningham match in the quarterfinals, and the winner of the Suh/Scheffler match will face the winner of the Heinen/Samiere match.
The two quarterfinal matches that were set when play was called due to darkness on Thursday will pit 15-year-old John Augenstein, of Owensboro, KY, against England’s Sam Horsfield, and Zecheng Dou, of the People’s Republic of China against Davis Riley, of Hattiesburg, MS.
Augenstein caused a sensation by defeating stroke-play medalist John Liu, of Smithtown, NY, in their Round of 16 match. Liu is the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, and 2011 runner-up, as well as only the third two-time medalist in this event. The young Kentuckian didn’t three-putt a single green in his match against Liu, displaying a mastery of the complex Tom Fazio-designed putting surfaces at Martis Camp which will make him tough to beat going forward.