NEWTON, Kan. – It has been 46 years since a player has won
the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in his home state. Michael Gellerman
is now two wins away from accomplishing that rare feat.
The 20-year-old Sterling, Kan., native defeated Robert
Geibel, 1 up, in the quarterfinals of the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links and faces
Doug Ghim on Friday afternoon.
They are joined by 43-year-old Jess Bonneau and Byron Meth
in the semifinals of the APL at the 7,365-yard, par-71 Sand Creek Station Golf
Gellerman lost the second hole of his first-round match to
Trent Peterson to fall 1 down, but after winning the third hole has not trailed
at any other point during the championship – a span of 61 holes.
U.S. APL Semifinals: Live Scoring
Against Geibel, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., Gellerman won both
par-5s (Nos. 2 and 4) on the outward nine with pars and extended his lead to 3
up with a birdie at the ninth. Gellerman has birdied and won the ninth hole in
each of his four matches at Sand Creek Station.
Geibel won holes 13 and 16 with pars to close within 1 down,
but Gellerman steadied his game and made pars at 17 and 18 to preserve the victory.
The last in-state champion was Gene Towry, of Richardson, Texas, in 1968 at
Tenison Park Golf Course, in Dallas.
“I kept it in play and didn’t really make any big mistakes,
which was huge for me,” said Gellerman, a senior at the University of Oklahoma.
“I need to get to work here and play a little better this afternoon.”
At 43, Bonneau, of Houston, is vying to become the
second-oldest champion in APL history. He eliminated Rico Hoey, of Rancho
Cucamonga, Calif., 5 and 3, to advance to the semis. Verne Callison, 48, won
the 1967 APL.
Playing against the USC sophomore who is 25 years his
junior, Bonneau birdied the ninth to pull ahead 1 up. After the players halved
the par-5 10th with double bogeys, Bonneau won three consecutive holes starting
on No. 11 to seize control of the match.
“He hit it inside of me on 11, and I made birdie from about
18 feet and he missed from 12 feet,” said Bonneau. “It just started going from
Asked if he was exceeding his expectations, Bonneau laughed
and said, “By about two days. I thought if I played well, I could make match
play and maybe win a match. Everything else has been a bonus. I’ve gotten past
a couple of guys who are a heck of a lot better players than I am.”
Bonneau earned the No. 55 seed by battling to a 76 in
Tuesday’s second stroke-play round, avoiding the playoff for match play by one
stroke. “I’m proud of myself because I grinded it out pretty hard that day,
although it seems like a long time ago. My feet will tell you that, too. I’ve
got blisters, a toenail falling off… I’ve got all kinds of problems here,” he
added with a laugh.
Two of the four co-medalists have also advanced to the
semifinals. Ghim, of Arlington Heights, Ill., defeated his good friend John Oda,
of Honolulu, Hawaii, 3 and 2, and Meth, of San Diego, survived a late charge by
Bryson Dechambeau, of Clovis, Calif., to win, 1 up. With Meth’s victory, at
least one player from California has advanced to the semifinals of the APL in each
of the past seven years.
The semifinal matches began at 12:45 p.m. CDT. The winners
will advance to the 36-hole final, which is scheduled for Saturday morning.
Michael Trostel is the senior curator/historian
at the USGA Museum. Email him at email@example.com.
Newton, Kan. – Results from Friday morning’s quarterfinal
matches at the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, being held at
7,365-yard, par-71 Sand Creek Station Golf Course.
Michael Gellerman, Sterling, Kan. (145) def. Robert Geibel,
Pembroke Pines, Fla. (140), 1 up
Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights, Ill. (134) def. John Oda,
Honolulu, Hawaii (140), 3 and 2
Jess Bonneau, Houston, Texas (146) def. Rico Hoey, Rancho
Cucamonga, Calif. (134), 5 and 3
Byron Meth, San Diego, Calif. (134) def. Bryson Dechambeau,
Clovis, Calif. (142), 1 up
Newton, Kan. – Pairings and starting times for Friday
afternoon’s semifinal matches at the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links
Championship being held at 7,365-yard, par-71 Sand Creek Station Golf Course.
All times CDT.
12:45 p.m. - Michael Gellerman, Sterling, Kan. (145) vs.
Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights, Ill. (134)
1:00 p.m. - Jess Bonneau, Houston, Texas (146) vs. Byron
Meth, San Diego, Calif. (134)