Justin Thomas Edges Bobby Wyatt to Advance to U.S. Amateur Quarterfinals
Aug. 16, 2012
CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. - In an all-Alabama showdown in the round of 16 at the United States Amateur Championship Thursday afternoon Justin Thomas used a birdie on the 17th hole to edge his teammate Bobby Wyatt 1 up the par-71, 7,409-yard Cherry Hills Country Club.
The 1-up win advances Thomas into the quarterfinals on Friday morning 9:30 a.m. (CDT) against ninth-seeded Oliver Gross of Australia. Gross defeated 40th-seed Bobby Leopold 2 and 1 Thursday evening. The Golf Channel will broadcast the quarterfinal matches on tape delay Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.
The Thomas/Wyatt match was hard-fought throughout with both golfers holding 2-up leads at different points in the match. Of the 18 holes contested, the pair managed to half only seven.
A par on the first hole got Wyatt to a quick 1-up lead. After Thomas squared the match with a birdie on No. 3, Wyatt won back-to-back holes with an eagle on No. 5 and a par on the sixth. Thomas fought back to win the seventh and eight holes to square the match once again.
Thomas, a native of Goshen, Ky., then went on a run of his own taking a 1-up lead at the 10th and a 2-up on the 12th hole. This time Wyatt was the one to battle back, winning the 13th and 15th holes to square the match for a third time. The two halved the 16th hole with par.
The birdie-4 on the 545-yard par-5 17th proved to be the difference for Thomas. Both players then made par on the 488-yard closing hole to finish off the win for Thomas.
Wyatt, a native of Mobile, Ala., tied the U.S. Amateur record for the lowest 36-hole stroke-play scoring on Tuesday at 9-under-par 132. He then recorded a 4 and 2 win in the opening round of match play and a 2-up victory on Thursday morning in the round of 32.
Jerry Pate in 1974 is the only Alabama player to win a U.S. Amateur. Michael Thompson was the last Alabama player to reach the finals, finishing runner-up at The Olympic Club in 2007.
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