Round of 64: Five Matches to Watch
September 12, 2016 | Elverson, Pa.
By David Shefter, USGA
With the stroke-play portion of the 36th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Stonewall now in the rear-view mirror and the field cut from 264 to 64, all eyes turn to match play. The Old and North courses were used for the 36 holes of stroke play, with the Old Course averaging two strokes higher. We’ll keep an eye on what that means for match play, which will take place on the Old Course until Thursday’s 36-hole final, for which both courses will be used.
Here are five Round-of-64 matches to watch on Monday:
Bradley Lane, Lawrence, Kan. vs. Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia, Pa. (9 a.m. EDT)
The first match of the day should have plenty of local interest with the 25-year-old Orlando one of four Greater Philadelphia golfers who qualified for match play. The 2013 Duke University graduate is competing in his first USGA championship and is one of three Philadelphia Cricket Club members in the field this week, two of whom advanced to the Round of 64 (John Brennan). Lane, 36, is a professor of urban studies at the University of Kansas who earned his bachelor’s degree at Rice University in 2003, a Master’s degree in geography from Indiana University in 2006 and a doctorate, also in geography, from IU in 2010. He taught at the University of Texas-El Paso from 2010-13 before joining the faculty at KU. Lane is competing in his first USGA championship this week.
Sammy Schmitz, Farmington, Minn., vs. Roger Hoit, Summit, N.J. (9:40 a.m.)
After carding 5-over 75 in his first round on Saturday, Schmitz, the defending champion, rallied for an even-par 70 on the North Course on Sunday to earn his spot in the draw. Now the 36-year-old father of two young daughters will look to draw on his match-play experience from 2015 to make a run at a second consecutive championship. “I haven’t putted really well over these 36 holes, so I definitely want to improve on my putting for the match play,” said Schmitz. Hoit, 52, advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia, his best showing in four previous appearances. The investment banker has won 23 club championships between Baltusrol Golf Club (8) in Springfield, N.J., and Eastward Ho! Country Club in Chatham, Mass.
Todd White, Spartanburg, S.C., vs. Carl Santos-Ocampo, Naples, Fla. (9:50 a.m.)
White, 48, has made match play in each of his six U.S. Mid-Amateur appearances, advancing to the semifinals in 2012 and the quarterfinals the past two years. The 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion (with Nathan Smith) and 2013 USA Walker Cup Team member advanced to match play in last month’s U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club. A high school history teacher, White carded rounds of 69-73 in stroke play to nab the ninth seed for match play. Santos-Ocampo, 28, was born in Providence, R.I., but lived on a military base in the Philippines from age 5 to 14. He learned how to play golf from a U.S. Army sergeant before his family relocated to Florida. Santos-Ocampo, who won the 2002 Florida State Golf Association Boys title and played collegiately at Notre Dame, tried professional golf for a couple of years until he decided to regain his amateur status last year.
Joseph Ida, Overland Park, Kan., vs. Michael McDermott, Bryn Mawr, Pa. (10:40 a.m.)
This is another match with local flavor. McDermott, 31, owns the competitive course record on the Old Course with a 67, which he shot during U.S. Amateur qualifying in 2002. The wealth advisor is competing in his 16th USGA championship and eighth Mid-Amateur. In 2003, he advanced to the Round of 16 in the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club, defeating current PGA Tour member J.B. Holmes in the Round of 32. He is a three-time Philadelphia Amateur and four-time Philadelphia Mid-Amateur champion. Ida, 28, doesn’t have a similar championship portfolio. This is the 2010 Kansas State University graduate’s first USGA championship. Now a wealth consultant, Ida briefly played as a professional after college before regaining his amateur status last year.
Brad Wilder, Fort Wright, Ky., vs. David May, Auburn, N.Y. (2 p.m.)
A year ago, Wilder, 37, won a topsy-turvy Round-of-64 match and used that momentum to carry him to the semifinals, where he fell to eventual champion Sammy Schmitz. Wilder opened stroke play on Saturday with a 4-under 66 on the North Course, but struggled when he shifted to the Old Course on Sunday, shooting 10 strokes higher. The wealth-management advisor is hoping the final-nine struggles are out of his system when he takes on former Clemson University standout David May. May, who turns 30 later this month, was a top junior recruit coming out of Auburn High in 2005 and shared the Atlantic Coast Conference title as a senior in 2009. He then played four years on the eGolf Tour in North Carolina, posting one victory, before leaving the professional circuit in 2013. A district manager for a company that produces janitorial supplies, paper products and food service disposables, May regained his amateur status last year and is competing in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur. He qualified for the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club, missing the cut by a stroke with rounds of 71-76.
David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.