U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR
Orischak 2 Up at Midway Point of U.S. Junior Amateur Final July 25, 2015 | Bluffton, S.C. By Brian DePasquale, USGA

Andrew Orischak used three consecutive birdies on the inward nine to take a 2-up lead at the midway point of the final match. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

Andrew Orischak, 16, of Hilton Head Island S.C., rallied on the inward nine and has a 2-up lead over Philip Barbaree, 17, of Shreveport, La., after the morning 18 holes of the scheduled 36-hole final in the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at the 7,366-yard, par-72 Colleton River Plantation Club’s Dye Course. The afternoon round begins at 12:20 p.m. EDT.

Barbaree, who advanced to the Round of 32 in last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur and has already qualified for next month’s U.S. Amateur, built a 3-up lead through eight holes. He rifled a 5-iron to within 2 feet below the hole on the 195-yard, par-3 third to set up a birdie and then sank an 11-foot birdie putt on No. 4. He later made a 3½-foot putt for another birdie on the par-5 eighth.

Orischak, who won three matches and played 48 holes yesterday to reach the Junior Amateur final in his first USGA championship, was still 3 down heading to the 11th tee, where he began a stretch of three consecutive birdies to square the match.

He recovered from an errant tee shot on No. 11 and pitched to within close range for his first birdie. Orischak added a 9½-foot birdie putt on No. 12 before sinking a 17-footer for birdie that tracked over a mound, down a slope, and disappeared into the hole.

Orischak, the runner-up in last year’s South Carolina Class 3A high school state championship, took his first lead of the morning on the par-5 16th. He nearly reached the green in two with a 3-wood from 274 yards and eventually was conceded a short birdie putt. He extended his advantage to 2 up on No. 18 with a par when Barbaree missed the fairway with his tee shot and failed to convert a 9-foot par putt.

Barbaree, who is No. 59 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, completed his suspended semifinal match earlier in the day when he edged Won Jun Lee, 16, of the Republic of Korea, 1 up. The match was all square through 17 holes when play ended yesterday. Barbaree struck a 60-degree wedge within 2 feet to make a match-clinching par on No. 18, while his opponent hit his approach shot into the water hazard, which led to a bogey.

Orischak, who is No. 631 in the WAGR™, reached the championship match the previous day before play was suspended when he defeated Eugene Hong, 15, of Sanford, Fla., 3 and 2.

The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Brian DePasquale is the USGA’s manager of championship communications. Email him at bdepasquale@usga.org.