Cherry Hills Village, Colo. – Bobby Wyatt, 20, of Mobile, Ala., fired a 7-under-par 64 at the par-71 Cherry Hills Country Club Monday to take the lead at the halfway point of first day of stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Amateur Championship.
A quintet of players -- Sebastian Vasquez, of Mexico, Justin Thomas, of Goshen, Ky., Brandon Hagy, of Westlake Village, Calif., 2011 USA Walker Cup member Chris Williams, of Moscow, Idaho, and Max Homa, of Valencia, Calif. – all shot 5-under-65 at the par 70 CommonGround Golf Course to keep up with Wyatt’s torrid pace in the morning wave of 156 players.
The remaining 156 players in the 312-player field had afternoon starting times.
The 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play, with the low 64 scorers advancing to match play, which features six rounds, including a 36-hole final scheduled for Sunday beginning at 8:30 a.m MDT.
The U.S. Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Wyatt, who is ranked No. 7 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and was an All-America selection in his sophomore year at Alabama in 2011-12, made five birdies in his first seven holes and finished the day with eight birdies against just one bogey on the 7,409-yard Cherry Hills layout.
“I hit it pretty well,” Wyatt said. “I was just trying to play for position and hit it in smart places on the green. Fortunately, I left myself some simple putts, not necessarily close, but simple and I was able to roll them in.”
Wyatt’s Alabama teammate Thomas added: “It doesn’t surprise me at all. Bobby is an unbelievable player and he is playing really well. I didn’t expect anything less from him.”
Wyatt, winner of the Sunnehanna Amateur in Pennsylvania earlier this summer, credited his prior work for his good scoring.
“I feel really good about my preparation for this week,” he said. “I was putting well. I birdied four of the first five and had a bogey in there. But, I felt good about the way things were going.”
Bryson DeChambeau, of Clovis, Calif., shot the second-best score of the day at Cherry Hills C.C., a 4-under-par 67.
Pete Kowalski is the director of championship communications for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.