Bremerton, Wash. – Jim Liu’s hopes of becoming the second repeat U.S. Junior Amateur champion in history were dashed by Chelso Barrett in the second round of match play Thursday.
Stroke-play medalist Beau Hossler, 16, of Mission Viejo, Calif., and 2009 champion Jordan Spieth, 17, of Dallas, Texas, were also among the second-round winners.
Back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th holes gave Barrett, 16, of Keene, N.H., a 2-up victory over the 15-year-old Liu, of Smithtown, N.Y., at the par-72, 7,111-yard Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club.
On No. 17, Barrett hit a 7-iron from 165 yards to 6 feet and made the birdie putt to take the lead. Needing to win No. 18 to extend the match, Liu opted to drive the par-4 hole with his 3-wood. But his tee shot found the hazard right of the hole.
“He’d been striping that 3-wood all day, so I thought he’d just hit it right in the middle of the green,” said Barrett. “I figured I’d take my odds getting up and down from 100 yards, as opposed to me hitting it in the water or something.”
When Liu was unable to get up and down from the hazard, he conceded Barrett’s birdie putt and the match.
“Chelso just beat me,” said Liu, who was trying to join Tiger Woods, who won three consecutive titles from 1991 to 1993, as the only player to repeat. “We both played decent golf, but I was just outplayed. That’s golf sometimes. You can’t always play your best every time. But he played really great and he just beat me today.”
Hossler’s match against Austin Smotherman, 17, of Loomis, Calif., was tight throughout – twice Hossler took a 1-up lead but Smotherman was able to square the match. With the two all square on No. 16, Hossler thought he had a good chance to take the lead when Smotherman hit his tee shot on the par-3 hole into a water hazard.
But Smotherman was able to hit out of the hazard and two-putted from 12 feet. Hossler was safely on the green but three-putted from 40 foot, including a missed 4-footer for par. On No. 17, Hossler missed his 4-foot birdie putt but won the hole when Smotherman missed his par putt from 3 feet.
“I was nervous on those short putts,” said Hossler. “Who wouldn’t be when you’re tied coming down the stretch. I’ve been a little bit shaky with my putting under pressure and that’s really been frustrating me.”
Needing to win No. 18 to extend the match, Smotherman opted to drive the green. His tee shot landed in the fringe right of the green and he almost chipped in his pitch shot. Hossler hit his approach shot from 91 yards to 6 feet and made the birdie putt for the win.
“I got pretty lucky to get out of that match because I didn’t have my best stuff and I know Austin didn’t have his best stuff,” said Hossler. “I can go work on a few things, especially mentally, because I really didn’t play as well as I needed to the last few holes. Missing short putts is never good. It gives your opponent confidence that you might miss another short putt, which I did twice in a row. I made a good putt on the last hole.”
While Liu was eliminated, Spieth kept his hopes for another national championship alive with a 2-and-1 victory over Wesley Gosselin, 17, of Knoxville, Tenn. Spieth fell behind early, trailing 2 down after three holes, but won the seventh and eighth holes with birdies to take back the lead.
International players continue to fare well at the championship. Second-round winners include Juan Yumar, 15, of Venezuela; Wilson Bateman, 17, of Canada; Nicolas Echavarria, 16, of Colombia; and Emilio Mauer, 16, of Mexico.
The U.S. Junior Amateur field continues with the third round of match play Thursday afternoon. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be played Friday and the 36-hole championship final will be played Saturday.
The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Beth Murrison is a manager of championship communications for the USGA. For questions or comments, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bremerton, Wash. – Results following Thursday’s second round of match play at the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur at the 7,111-yard, par-72 Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club:
Round of 32
Beau Hossler, Mission Viejo, Calif. (135) def. Austin Smotherman, Loomis, Calif. (149), 1 up
Connor Black, Katy, Texas (146) def. Scottie Scheffler, Dallas, Texas (151), 19 holes
Adam Ball, Richmond, Va. (144) def. James Park, Korea (148), 2 and 1
Juan Yumar, Venezuela (144) def. Derek Bard, New Hartford, N.Y. (150), 2 and 1
Jordan Spieth, Dallas, Texas (140) def. Wesley Gosselin, Knoxville, Tenn. (148), 2 and 1
Wilson Bateman, Canada (151) def. Stuart Thomas, Knoxville, Tenn. (147), 1 up
Taylor Moore, Edmond, Okla. (142) def. Robby Shelton, Wilmer, Ala. (148), 6 and 4
Andrew Whalen, Ephrata, Wash. (147) def. Christopher Petefish, Scottsdale, Ariz. (145), 2 and 1
William Starke, Chapin, S.C. (139) def. Matt Gilchrest, Southlake, Texas (149), 1 up
Zachary Herr, New Hope, Pa. (151) def. Aaron Kunitomo, Lahaina, Hawaii (151), 3 and 2
Chelso Barrett, Keene, N.H. (143) def. Jim Liu, Smithtown, N.Y. (148), 2 up
William Zalatoris, Plano, Texas (147) def. Andy Olsen, San Antonio, Texas (152), 3 and 2
Nicolas Echavarria, Colombia (149) def. Yi Keun Chang, Walnut, Calif. (140), 2 and 1
Emilio Maurer, Mexico (145) def. Jordan Niebrugge, Mequon, Wis. (146), 5 and 4
Hank Lebioda, Winter Springs, Fla. (148) def. A.J. McInerney, Henderson, Nev. (142), 7 and 5
Ryan Benton, Dothan, Ala. (150) def. Jonathan De Los Reyes, Antioch, Calif. (145), 2 and 1
Bremerton, Wash. – Pairings for Thursday’s third round of match play at the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur at the 7,111-yard, par-72 Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club (all times PDT):
Round of 16
1 p.m. Beau Hossler, Mission Viejo, Calif. (135) vs. Connor Black, Katy, Texas (146)
1:10 p.m. Adam Ball, Richmond, Va. (144) vs. Juan Yumar, Venezuela (144)
1:20 p.m. Jordan Spieth, Dallas, Texas (140) vs. Wilson Bateman, Canada (151)
1:30 p.m. Taylor Moore, Edmond, Okla. (142) vs. Andrew Whalen, Ephrata, Wash. (147)
1:40 p.m. William Starke, Chapin, S.C. (139) vs. Zachary Herr, New Hope, Pa. (151)
1:50 p.m. Chelso Barrett, Keene, N.H. (143) vs. William Zalatoris, Plano, Texas (147)
2 p.m. Nicolas Echavarria, Colombia (149) vs. Emilio Maurer, Mexico (145)
2:10 p.m. Hank Lebioda, Winter Springs, Fla. (148) vs. Ryan Benton, Dothan, Ala. (150)