“I really didn't have too many expectations,” said Mueller, who went 4-0 in the Big Ten Match Play in 2015. “I wanted to make match play. I feel like I'm a pretty good match player. I love it. Really anything can happen, and it's kind of cliche but you really do have to take it one shot at a time and one hole at a time. That's what I tried to feed off of, and it seemed to work.”
The Walker Cup Team members from the USA who won matches were: Bryson DeChambeau, of Clovis, Calif.; Maverick McNealy, of Portola Valley, Calif.; and Hunter Stewart, of Nicholasville, Ky. Stewart’s 3-and-2 win came over Walker Cup teammate Lee McCoy, of Athens, Ga.
“When you're playing Lee McCoy, you’ve just got to kind of go for it, and you can't play cautious and you can't just try to par your way around here,” said Stewart, who was a first-team All-American and Vanderbilt’s first Southeastern Conference title winner. “He was under par today. I played a really nice round, just kind of had some good stuff going there in the middle and was able to carry the momentum over.”
DeChambeau, the 2015 NCAA Division I individual champion, easily defeated Robby Salomon, 8 and 7, and McNealy, the 2015 Jack Nicklaus and Haskins Award winner, beat Austin Connelly, 1 up.
Rain delayed the start of the second round of stroke play by 90 minutes on Tuesday morning and 54 players did not complete 36 holes. Play was suspended because of darkness and the second round of stroke play was completed on Wednesday morning. When the dust settled, it took four holes to complete the 18-man playoff for the final 10 berths in the match-play draw.
The fifth Walker Cup Team member from the USA, Beau Hossler, was eliminated by Ryan Ruffels, of Australia, 5 and 4.
Other winners included Paul Dunne, of the Republic of Ireland, who shared the 54-hole lead last month in The Open Championship at St. Andrews with Jason Day, and University of Illinois teammates Thomas Detry and Alex Burge.
Eighteen-year-old Cameron Young, of Scarborough, N.Y., who lost in the quarterfinals in 2014 to eventual champion Gunn Yung, turned the tables in 2015 with a 3-and-2 win over Yang.
Winning birdies on the 11th and 12th holes boosted Young to a 3-up lead that Yang could not overcome. Young, 18, became the youngest winner of the prestigious Ike Tournament in New York with a final-round 66 earlier this summer.
“Last year was kind of a frustrating day,” said Young, who is an incoming freshman at Wake Forest University. “It was a match I felt like I could have won. It was good for me to have another chance to beat him, and he's obviously a great player, so it was a lot of fun for me to have that opportunity.”
“I just tried to stay calm and not think about the score but when you get 3 down you think about the score,” said Yang, of the Republic of Korea. “I did my best but… it is really, really disappointing.”