USGA Amateur Champions Show off Match-Play Chops in Austin
The World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play wrapped up on Sunday, and while Jason Day took home the title, several of the world’s best players channeled the success they had competing in USGA amateur championships to post solid performances at Austin (Texas) Country Club.
The 64-player field included eight winners of USGA amateur championships, which are contested at match play following two rounds of stroke play. Of those eight USGA amateur champions, five – Jordan Spieth (2009 and 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur); Byeong-Hun An (2009 U.S. Amateur); Matt Kuchar (1997 U.S. Amateur); Ryan Moore (2002 and 2004 U.S. Amateur Public Links, 2004 U.S. Amateur); and Brandt Snedeker (2003 U.S. Amateur Public Links) – advanced through the Group Stage to the Round of 16.
Of the five, Moore was the lone player to make it through to the quarterfinals, where he was eliminated by Rafa Cabrera Bello, 2 and 1. Rory McIlroy, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, advanced the farthest of the 12 USGA champions in the field, ultimately bowing out to Day in the semifinals, 1 up.
An Ace for Minjee
Minjee Lee finished tied for 20th in last weekend’s Kia Classic, but she undoubtedly hit the most memorable shot of the event. Lee, who defeated fellow LPGA Tour player Alison Lee in the final to capture the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior title, made the first hole-in-one of her professional career on Saturday, and it was hardly one that would be considered routine. Lee aced the 16th hole at Aviara Golf Club, a par 4 playing 234 yards, with a 5-wood. It was just the second hole-in-one on a par 4 in LPGA Tour history.