While most of the country is trying to stay cool from the stifling heat wave, including our brethren at the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club in suburban Chicago, the temperatures in the Pacific Northwest are downright comfortable. We are not supposed to top 70 degrees today and there's hardly any humidity.
Talk about ideal playing conditions for a national championship.
The field at the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur has been trimmed to 32 players and by day's end, we'll be down to our quarterfinalists.
There are a couple of intriguing matchups in round two. Two matches feature players from Texas. Connor Black, 15, of Katy faces off against 16-year-old Scottie Scheffler of Dallas, who survived a 21-hole marathon against Jonah Texeira of Northridge, Calif., on Wednesday.
The other Lone Star State match features 14-year-old William Zalatoris of Plano against 16-year-old Andy Olsen of San Antonio, a 12-for-10 Tuesday playoff survivor who eliminated 10th-seeded Grant Daugherty.
Of course, the biggest Texas name remaining is 2009 champion Jordan Spieth, who is vying to join Tiger Woods as the only multiple Junior Amateur winner in the event's 64-year history. Spieth takes on Wesley Gosselin of Knoxville, Tenn., who needed 23 holes to eliminate Andy Shim of Duluth, Ga., on Wednesday. It was the longest match of the championship.
Defending champion Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., also is looking to match Woods' feat. He already broke Woods' mark for being the youngest champion when he won at the tender age of 14 a year ago at Egypt Valley C.C.
One left-hander also is still alive in Canada's Wilson Bateman. The championship has produced two southpaw winners in Brian Harman (2003) and Cory Whitsett (2007). Bateman faces Stuart Thomas of Knoxville, Tenn., who went 21 holes in beating Hunter O'Mahony of Tequesta, Fla.
Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., a semifinalist last year, also advanced into the round of 32. He takes on fifth-seeded Taylor Moore of Edmond, Okla.
And the state of Washington still has one survivor. Andrew Whalen of Ephrata, who was the medalist at the sectional qualifier held last month at Gold Mountain, meets Chris Petefish of Scottsdale, Ariz. Petefish already has eliminated one Washington resident. He beat James Feutz of University Place, 3 and 2, in the first round on Wednesday. -- David Shefter