The 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links 36-hole championship match underway with the afternoon round. Balls were in the air at 12:15 p.m. PDT. Follow our hole-by-hole coverage on the live blog. Mike Trostel from the USGA staff will be filing on-course reports from Old Macdonald, the newest of the four championship layouts at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
In case the match goes to extra holes, we've been informed that it will start on 1, then go to 2, if necessary, and then to 18.
Hole 37 (341 yards, par 4): Corbin Mills and Derek Ernst both found the fairway off the tee and hit the green with their approach shots. Ernst was 50 feet away and rolled his birdie putt 10 feet past the hole. Mills was 30 feet away and came up 5 feet short of the hole. Ernst watched his par putt spin out of the hole. Mills holes his par putt to win the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links title.
Hole 36 (469 yards, par 4): Both players hit huge tee shots, thanks to the wind and had short wedge approaches to the front-right hole location that was tucked behind a mound. Derek Ernst was 30 feet above the flagstick and Corbin Mills 18 feet to the left and slightly above. Ernst was aggressive with his birdie putt and rolled it 7 feet past the hole. Mills snuggled his try to within 2 feet. After taking his time to find the line, Ernst calmly rolled in the par putt, with Mills doing the same. The match is now headed to extra holes. Status: Match All Square Going to First Tee
Hole 35 (546 yards, par 5): Derek Ernst finds a fairway bunker with his drive and then plays into another fairway bunker. His third shot found a greenside bunker and he blasted out to 30 feet and missed the par putt. Corbin Mills reached the green in two and lagged his eagle putt to within a few feet and his birdie putt is conceded. Status: Match All Square With 1 To Play
Hole 34 (455 yards, par 4): Derek Ernst regains the lead with a two-putt par. He hit his drive down the left side and found the middle of the green, 20 feet from the hole. Corbin Mills drove his ball into some fescue and his approach went over the green in a very tough spot. But he was able to use a mound behind the flagstick to pitch the ball within 5 feet, and then missed the par putt. Ernst lagged to 4 feet and holed his par putt to win the hole. Status: Ernst 1 up with 2 To Play
Hole 33 (535 yards, par 5): Corbin Mills regains some momentum by knocking his third shot to 15 feet and draining the birdie putt. Derek Ernst found some trouble with his second shot and reached the green in four shots before Mills holed his putt to square the match. Status: Match All Square With 3 To Play
Hole 32 (294 yards, par 4): Derek Ernst got a fairly good break with his tee shot as it landed in an area between the 14th and third holes. He played to the front of the green and made a comfortable par. Corbin Mills also played to the front of the green and eventually made a 5-footer for par to stop the bleeding. Status: Ernst 1 up
Hole 31 (346 yards, par 4): The Derek Ernst momentum train continues to streamroll forward. He stuffs a wedge to 2 feet for an easy birdie, while Corbin Mills is 15 feet to the right of the flagstick with his wedge approach and he is unable to chip the ball into the hole. Ernst now leads for the first time since yesterday's semifinals. Status: Ernst 1 up
Hole 30 (237 yards, par 3): Derek Ernst wins his fourth consecutive hole to square the match by hitting a spectacular 5-iron tee shot to within 6 inches of making his second hole-in-one of the championshp. He aced the par-4 eighth hole at Bandon Trails in the first round of match play against Joseph David for the 11th recorded hole-in-one in APL history (records began in 1982). His birdie was conceded and when Corbin Mills failed to hole his second shot from a greenside bunker, the match had returned to all square for the first time since hole 14. Status: Match All Square
Hole 29 (445 yards, par 4): Corbin Mills is suddenly struggling with his swing. He sent his drive way right and into some gorse, forcing him to take an unplayable lie. Unable to get solid relief within two clublengths, he chose to keep a line between the flagstick and his ball, going back some 30 yards, to play his third shots, leaving 230-plus yards to the green. He eventually made a double-bogey 6. Derek Ernst flew his approach over the green and was eventually conceded his 5-footer for par. It's the closest the match has been since No. 17 of the morning session. Status: Mills 1 up
Hole 28 (460 yards, par 4): Corbin Mills sent his approach over the green and wound up actually 8 feet away from the flagstick on No. 5, which shares space with the 10th hole. After taking a drop, Mills executed a nice flop shot to 15 feet, but missed the par putt. Derek Ernst found the green with his approach and safely lagged his birdie putt to a spot where Mills conceded the par and the hole. Status: Mills 2 up
Hole 27 (343 yards, par 4): Taking advantage of the strong northerly winds, both players are able to hit their tee shots flag high. Corbin Mills used a hybrid and was 50 feet away. Derek Ernst used a 3-wood and was just off the edge of the putting surface. He chose to chip the ball and used the backstop behind the hole to get the ball to within 3 feet. Mills had to go over a ridge with his putt and he eventually lipped out his 12-foot birdie putt. Ernst holed his birdie putt to win the hole. Status: Mills 3 up with 9 to play
Hole 26 (181 yards, par 3): Corbin Mills nearly flew it into the hole on the fly with his tee shot. He had a 12-footer for birdie and missed. Derek Ernst had an 18-footer and rolled it past the hole 6 feet and made the return putt. Mills also holed his putt for par to halve the hole. Status: Mills 4 up
Hole 25 (420 yards, par 4): The hole is halved in par 4s. Both players find the front of the green with their approach shots. Derek Ernst putts over a rise to 5 feet and makes his putt. Corbin Mills delicately trickles his putt to 2 feet for a par. Status: Mills 4 up
Hole 24 (588 yards, par 5): Unlike this morning when the winds were calm and players had a chance to go for the green in two, strong northerly winds of at least 20 mph force the players to lay up short of the fairway bunker with their second shots. Both are around 150 yards from the green. Corbin Mills knocks his approach to 27 feet. Derek Ernst hits his third to 40 feet and lags to 4 feet. Mills then steps up and holes another clutch putt to take his biggest lead of the match. Status: Mills 4 up
Check out ourAM photo gallery shot by esteemed photographer Steven Gibbons.
Hole 23 (160 yards, par 4): With the winds picking up to about 15 to 20 mph, Corbin Mills comes up short with his tee shot as a gust knocked his ball down. Derek Ernst adjusts and takes more club and finds the green, but misses his 12-footer for birdie. Mills plays up to 10 feet and holes the par putt to halve the hole. It was similar to the birdie putt he had on the hole in the morning round. Status: Mills 3 up
Hole 22 (504 yards, par 4): Short game continues to be a big part of the story for Corbin Mills, who knocked his approach from the fairway over the green, but recoverd with a nice pitch to 2 feet for a conceded par. Derek Ernst came up short and left of the green with his approach, but could get no closer than 12 feet with his third shot. He missed the ensuing par putt. Status: Mills 3 up
Hole 21 (375 yards, par 4): Both players drove the green from the tee, with Corbin Mills using a 3-wood. The drove goes over a big dune and then into a valley with the fairway sloping sharply down from left to right. Mills was 25 feet away and 3-putted, missing a 7-footer for birdie. Derek Ernst lagged his eagle putt to a foot and was conceded his birdie. Status: Mills 2 up
Hole 20 (173 yards, par 3): Derek Ernst continues to fight his swing as for the fourth time in five holes he hits a tee shot left.l He is unable to recover, chipping to 10 feet and missing the par putt. Corbin Mills safely two-putted for par from the center of the green to win the hole. Status: Mills 3 up
Hole 19 (341 yards, par 4): The second 18 did not get off to a rousing start for either player. Both drove well left into the fescue and Derek Ernst and Corbin Mills saw their approach shots go over the green into more fescue. Ernst chunked his third shot, played his fourth to 40 feet and two-putted for a 6, the last coming from 5 feet. Mills came up short of the green with his third shot, played his fourth to 4 feet and missed the bogey putt to win the hole. Status: Mills 2 up
Just a quick update on what the players shot in the morning 18. Keep in mind the scores do include the usual concessions for match play. Corbin Mills carded a 1-under 70, while Ernst had a 1-over 72. As for the weather, it appears the sun is starting to peak out and the morning cloud cover is going away. You can bet the winds will pick up this afternoon as well.
Hole 18 (469 yards, par 4): Corbin Mills hit a very nice drive and gorgeous wedge approach to 5 feet and made the birdie putt. That off-set a nice recovery by Derek Ernst, who found the fescue with his drive and then hit his approach over the green. He chipped to 10 feet and made the par putt, but it didn't matter when Mills holed his putt. Status: Mills 2 up after the Morning 18. (Afternoon round to start at 12:15 p.m.)
Hole 17 (546 yards, par 5): Derek Ernst made yet another eagle by knocking a 5-iron approach to 5 feet. Corbin Mills also played a fine second shot into the green, but he failed to convert from 20 feet for eagle. Status: Mills 1 up
Hole 16 (455 yards, par 4): Derek Ernst pull-hooked his drive into the fescue left of the fairway and nearly into an unplayable lie. He punched out and then hit a beautiful shot to 10 feet, but putted through the break and settled for a bogey-5. Corbin Mills found a greenside bunker with his approach after a good drive and played another magnificent recovery shot to 18 inches that was conceded for a par. Status: Mills 2 up
Hole 15 (535 yards, par 5): Derek Ernst hit an excellent drive, but that's where the good play ended. He took off his grey pullover and proceeded to hit his second shot 30 yards right of the green. He pitched to 20 feet and missed the birdie chance. Corbin Mills found the fescue to the right of the fairway and his next shot rolled through the green into more fescue. But he pitched to 4 feet and drained the birdie putt. Status: Mills 1 up
Hole 14 (297 yards, par 4): With the tee markers moved forward, both players hit good drives. Derek Ernst mis-judged the wind on his second shot and came up 40 feet short, while Corbin Mills hit a low-spinner to 12 feet. Ernst lagged to 4 feet and made his par putt after Mills just missed his birdie try. Status: Match All-Square
Hole 13 (346 yards, par 4): Derek Ernst belted a nice drive, leaving just a short wedge to the green. He knocked his approach to 5 feet and converted the birdie. Corbin Mills also hit a nice drive and hit his approach to 8 feet, but missed the birdie putt. Status: Match is All-Square
Hole 12 (237 yards, par 3): Both players bogey the hole when they fail to hit the green with their tee shots. Corbin Mills found the left greenside bunker and blasted to 12 feet and missed his par putt. Derek Ernst mis-judged the wind and came up 25 yards short of the green. He pitched to 15 feet and missed his par putt. Status: Mills 1 up
Hole 11 (445 yards, par 4): We've had just our second halve of the match. Both players bogeyed the hole. Derek Ernst ballooned his approach 80 feet short of the hole. He lagged to 8 feet, but missed the comebacker for par. Corbin Mills blocked his approach right and chipped to 10 feet and missed the par putt. Status: Mills 1 up
Hole 10 (460 yards, par 4): Halving holes doesn't seem in the cards today for the APL finalists. Derek Ernst hit a beautiful approach shot to 7 feet, but missed the birdie putt. He won the hole when Corbin Mills three-putted, missing a 5-footer for par. Status: Mills 1 up
Hole 9 (343 yards, par 4): Both players hit their drives way right into the high fescue. Corbin Mills actually had to play out backwards from a depression he was in and wound up making a bogey-5. Derek Ernst played his approach into a greenside bunker over the green and managed to get up and down for par, holing a 4-footer. Over the first nine holes, only one hole was halved. Status: Mills 2 up
Hole 8 (188 yards, par 3): Corbin Mills knocks his tee shot to 15 feet, while Derek Ernst comes up 40 feet short of the flagstick. His putt through a swale comes up 8 feet short, but he never has to putt again as Mills drains his birdie putt. Status: Mills 3 up
Hole 7 (420 yards, par 4): Derek Ernst continues to struggle on the greens on the outward nine of the morning-18 session. He registered his third three-putt of the match, this time leaving a 25-footer for birdie on the top of a ridge. He missed the delicate 10-footer for par. Meanwhile, Corbin Mills was long with his approach, but recovered beautifully with a pitch to 18 inches for a conceded par. Status: Mills 2 up
Hole 6 (588 yards, par 5): Derek Ernst trims the deficit by hitting driver, 3-wood to 70 yards short of the green. He lofted a wedge approach to 3 feet for a birdie. Corbin Mills pitched 12 feet past the flagstick for his third shot and came up short on his birdie attempt. Status: Mills 1 up
Hole 5 (160 yards, par 3): The players halved their first hole of the match. Each golfer found the green and two-putted for par. Mike Trostel is reporting that the winds are calm at the moment, perhaps just 10 mph as compared to the gusts of more than 30 the semifinalists faced on Friday afternoon. Status: Mills 2 up
Hole 4 (504 yards, par 4): Just how far can these players hit it? Corbin Mills hit driver and a 55-degree wedge to 12 feet and made the birdie putt to win the hole. Derek Ernst also hit a good drive and approach to the middle of the green, but his 35-foot birdie putt came up 4 feet short of the hole. The gallery is about 25 people this morning and Mills still has a plug in his left ear, the result of an ear infection he sustained prior to arrival in Oregon. Status: Mills 2 up
Hole 3 (375 yards, par 4): The see-saw match continues with Corbin Mills hitting a beautiful 40-yard shot from a pot bunker to 4 feet. His birdie try is eventually conceded after Derek Ernst's wedge approach spun back to 25 feet and his par putt from 6 feet was missed. Status: Mills 1 up
Hole 2 (172 yards, par 3): Derek Ernst recovers from his opening bogey by sticking a 5-iron to 5 feet. His birdie putt is conceded after Corbin Mills comes up short off the tee and then misses a 7-foot par putt. As for the players' attire, Mills is wearing white slacks with a navy Clemson pullover and white Clemson hat. Ernst has black pants and a grey pullover. Status: Match All-Square
Hole 1 (341 yards, par 4): Corbin Mills draws first blood by knocking a wedge from the left rough to 15 feet and two-putting. Derek Ernst found the fairway off the tee, but his approach spun back to 30 feet and he three-putted for a bogey-5. He missed an 8-foot par putt. Status: Mills 1 up.