CHASKA, MINN. For the second straight year, University of Alabama golfer Matthew Swan, 19, has advanced to the third round of match play at the United States Amateur.
The Montgomery native defeated Oklahoma State senior Ryan Posey 2 and 1 on Thursday in a day that included a four-hour rain delay for the field. Originally two rounds were to be played but, because of the rain, the third round and the quarterfinal round will both be played on Friday causing eight golfers to play 36 holes. The 106th U.S. Amateur is being played through Sunday at Hazeltine National Golf Course in Chaska, Minn.
Swan, the 61st seed, advances to play another Oklahoma State golf product, Trip Kuehne, the 20th seed, in the third round where only 16 golfers remain. They tee off at 8:20 a.m. CT.
Thursday’s rain made for a softer playing surface for the field, an element Swan used to his advantage.
“That rain went through and it softened it up even more, which helped a lot,” said Swan who is a sophomore golfer for the Crimson Tide. “I hit the ball better today. I’ve been working on some things with Coach (Jay Seawell) the past few days and I finally kind of did that today so I hit the ball better.”
Swan had a 7:40 a.m. tee time and was barely a third of the way through the round when the rain halted play.
“They took us in. We stayed in for at least two hours. Then they took us out. And then we stayed in for another 45 minutes or an hour. It was easily a good three hours. We just sat around, ate food and stuff,” said Swan of the delay. “It definitely gets boring. You want to be out there playing. But it wasn’t too bad. I’ve had to do it before. And it was nice where they had us. It would have been kind of tough if we had to play more, if they had tried to get in more holes today but they decided not to do that because of the weather.”
Next up for Swan, who was a 2005 member of the gold-medal-winning USA Junior World Amateur Team is Kuehne, whose older brother Hank won the 1998 U.S. Amateur and plays on the PGA Tour now. His sister Kelli was the 1995 and 1996 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion and plays on the LPGA Tour. Trip Kuehne, 32, never turned pro but has been the top amateur at events like the U.S. Open.
“That’ll be fun,” said Swan of facing Kuehne. “I’ve never gotten to play with him, so I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully I can play well again there and play another round.”