University Place, Wash. – First-day leader Jeff Wilson followed his 62 Monday at The Home Course with a 3-over-par 74 at Chambers Bay to solidify his hold on medalist honors with a 36-hole score of 7-under-par 136 halfway through the second day of stroke play at the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Wilson, 47, of Fairfield, Calif., will have to wait for the second half of the 312-player field to complete its afternoon rounds to see if he can secure his fifth stroke-play medal in USGA championships. Previously, he was the medalist at the 2000 U.S. Amateur and the 2000, 2001 and 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
I hope so, Wilson said of the possibility of his fifth USGA medal. I don’t know what everybody else is doing. I’m trying to do my own thing. It means you played pretty well. It’s nice to hang in the office but the tournament starts tomorrow. It means a lot but the tournament starts tomorrow.
Among those chasing Wilson is 17-year-old Justin Thomas of Goshen, Ky., who shot 2-under-par 69, the lowest round of the morning wave of starting times at Chambers Bay (along with Todd White of Spartanburg, S.C.). Thomas, who was the runner-up at the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur, stood at 3-under-par 140, four strokes behind.
Wilson, who is a car dealer by trade, realized his day at Chambers Bay would not be as easy as his 10-under-par 62 at The Home Course.
I felt differerent today, Wilson said. You have a 62 up and you say, ‘What’s going to make match play? I can shoot 84.’ That’s the ultimate goal to get into match play. I felt different today and I knew it was going to be hard to come back.
In fact, he made the turn in even-par after starting on the first hole at Chambers Bay. On his second nine, he was three over par.
I hit the ball as well as any nine holes I hit it in the tournament, Wilson said of his second nine today. I hit two 4-irons back to back on 13 and 14 – two long par 4s -- and I hit them exactly where I was looking and I make six on one and five on the next. You are 210 yards out and you hit it where you are looking and that’s the way this golf course goes. Sometimes the bounces go your way and sometimes they don’t.
Others in contention for the stroke-play medal who had afternoon starting times are: Byeong-Hun ‘Ben’ An, the 2009 U.S. Amateur champion (2-under-par 70 at The Home Course Monday), University of Washington golfer Nick Taylor (3-under-par 69 at The Home Course Monday) and Patrick Reed, a member of Augusta State’s 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s national championship team (3-under-par 68 at Chambers Bay Monday).
Story written by Pete Kowalski, manager of championship communications for the USGA. E-mail him with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.