JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (AP) — Taylor Moore and Lee McCoy were at 8-under 135 to earn medalist honors after stroke play Tuesday at the U.S. Amateur Championship.
Moore, a junior at the University of Arkansas, birdied four of his last five holes to shoot a 69 on the par-71 Highlands course. McCoy, a junior at Georgia, overcame a double-bogey with a stretch of five birdies in seven holes for a 68.
“I’ve been playing well coming in, so I just wanted to stay patient out there and give myself some opportunities and I did that,” said Moore, from Edmond, Oklahoma.. “I wasn’t as sharp as I was yesterday, but held it together and stayed patient and finished good today.”
Cheng-Tsung Pan, Jimmy Beck, Sam Burns, Jonathan Garrick and Will Zalatoris were at 5-under 138.
The top 60 players have qualified for match play, which will lead up to the championship on Sunday. A playoff involving 17 players for the final four spots in the field will begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday on the Riverside Course.
“It’s unbelievable. I couldn’t be happier,” said McCoy, from Clarkesville, Georgia. “Well, I guess I could be. I’d like to be holding the trophy at the end of the week. It’s great to be a high seed going into the weekend, but you know the main goal is still in check . still trying to get that trophy.”
Burns, an 18-year-old high school senior from Shreveport, Louisiana, shot a 66, the day’s low round, on the par-72 Riverside Course. He had seven birdies and one bogey.
“I knew I could come out here and attack,” Burns said. “I felt like the way I was hitting it, I could put myself in good position to make some putts and I did that.”
All rounds of match play, which will begin later Wednesday, will take place on Highlands. The field will be seeded by their scores in stroke play.
“For match play the position probably doesn’t matter as much,” Pan said. “We all start from zero, so everybody has a chance and you’ve got to play well.”
Ollie Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Georgia, the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, shot a 3-under 69 on the Riverside Course. He finished at 1-under 142 and advanced to match play.
“I just wanted to make match play,” Schniederjans said. “After that it’s a whole different tournament.”
Also advancing to match play was No. 2-ranked Robbie Shelton of Wilmer, Alabama, and Taylor Funk of Ponte Vedra, Florida, the son of eight-time PGA Tour winner Fred Funk.
The cut was at 2-over 146. Among those who missed was 13-year-old Will Thomson of Pittsford, New York, the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship. Thomson finished at 12-over 155.
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