U.S. AMATEUR FOUR-BALL
Going Low: Trio of Medalists Shoot 128 in Birmingham
May 15, 2022 | Birmingham, Ala.
By David Shefter, USGA
Go low or go home. That’s a motto often heard at PGA Tour events, but it also applies for the 7th U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at the Country Club of Birmingham.
Following 36 holes of stroke play on the club’s East and West courses, a score of 8-under-par 133 was required to qualify for match play, a championship record by two shots. In all, 95 of the 128 sides posted under-par totals for 36 holes.
A trio of sides led the scoring assault to share medalist honors at 13-under-par 128.
Carter Loflin and Wells Williams, the 18-hole leaders who are headed to the University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University, respectively, this fall; Wake Forest alums Davis Womble and Chad Wilfong; and Torey Edwards and Bret Parker each came within two strokes of the 36-hole championship record owned by Brandon Matthews and Patrick Ross in 2016 at Winged Foot Golf Club.
Loflin and Williams followed their 18-hole championship-record 61 on the 6,611-yard, par-71 East Course on Saturday with a 4-under 67 on the 7,166-yard, par-71 West Course on Sunday. Wilfong and Womble made consecutive birdies on 17 and 18 to post an 8-under 63, the best score of the weekend on the West Course. Edwards and Parker closed with two birdies over their final three holes on the East for a 7-under 63.
“It validates everything we’ve been doing,” said Williams, 18, of West Point, Miss., a three-time American Junior Golf Association All-American who was a member of the 2021 USA Junior Ryder Cup Team. “Even though we played insane [on Saturday], there was still a lot out there for us today, which just shows how well we’ve been playing.”
As Womble was walking down the 17th fairway, the 28-year-old from Winston-Salem, N.C., quickly glanced at the online leaderboard to see where his side stood in terms of the cut. He quickly noticed he and Wilfong, 41, of Charlotte, N.C., were only two off the lead.
“More importantly, we were one back of our close friends, Dan Walters and Evan Beck,” said Womble. “We wanted to take them down. I played with Evan one year [at Wake Forest] and Dan was my assistant coach.”
Womble rolled in a 25-footer for birdie on 17 and Wilfong drained a 30-footer on 18 to close with a 5-under 31 on the inward nine.
“You can make some putts,” said Womble, who grew up at the same club in Thomasville, N.C. (Colonial C.C.) as Wilfong, 13 years apart. “The greens are perfect.”
Parker, 42, of Alpine, Utah, birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to pull him and Edwards, a 40-year-old left-hander from Long Beach, Calif., into a share of medalist honors. He barely missed a 25-foot birdie bid on 18 that would have given the side medalist honors outright. Both Edwards-Parker and Wilfong-Womble completed stroke play without a bogey.
“The key was to keep a clean card,” said Edwards. “Bret played great and I was just plodding along. The goal for me was to make as many easy pars as possible while he was on that heater.”
Three sides were one stroke back of the medalists at 12-under 129. That group included Beck, the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up, and Walters; former Southern Methodist University teammates Zach Kingsland and William Sides; and ex-University of Michigan teammates Matthew McLaughlin and Christian Vozza.
An 10-side playoff for the final nine spots in the match-play draw will commence at 7 a.m. CDT on Monday off No. 1 of the East Course and will continue on No. 9, if necessary. The same holes will be played should the playoff extend past two holes. Round-of-64 matches will begin at 8 a.m. on the West Course. Match play continues on Tuesday with the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, followed by the semifinals and 18-hole final on Wednesday. Spectators are welcome and admission is free.
- The 18-hole championship scoring record of 61 set on Saturday by Carter Loflin and Wells Williams was matched on Sunday on the East Course by Texans Jace Moore, 36, of Keller, and Jordan Woolf, 35, of Fort Worth. They had a chance to shoot 60, but Woolf missed a 25-footer for birdie on No. 18, then missed a 2-footer for par. Moore, a University of Texas graduate, made six birdies, none longer than 12 feet, and two-putt 3 after driving the green on the 312-yard second. Moore, a Texas Christian grad, made four birdies. On the West Course Saturday, the duo posted a 1-under 70.
- The two past-champion sides in the field failed to qualify for match play. Scott Harvey and Todd Mitchell (2019) missed the cut for the first time in seven starts (3-under 138). Nathan Smith and Todd White, the inaugural winners in 2015, posted 7-under 134 to miss the playoff by one. Their lone previous missed cut came three years ago at Bandon Dunes.
- Both father/son tandems failed to advance. Mesa, Ariz., residents Brad Wayment and his 24-year-old son, Cooper, who just earned his undergraduate degree from Utah State, shot 6-under 135 to miss by three strokes. This was Cooper’s first USGA championship, while Brad qualified for the 2018 U.S. Senior Open and 2021 U.S. Senior Amateur. Nebraska natives John and Andrew Sajevic posted 137. This was their first missed cut in three U.S. Amateur Four-Ball starts. They have competed in a combined 22 USGA championships.
- Of the six brother tandems, only Trey and Terry Diehl have a chance to make match play. They are in Monday’s 11-for-10 playoff.
- Recently retired USGA Executive Committee member and 1988 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Martha Lang, who resides in nearby Shoal Creek, served as the first-tee starter on the West Course during stroke play. Lang also is a past USA Curtis Cup player and captain. Andy Priest, the executive director of the Alabama Golf Association, did the honors at the East Course.
“We could have shot 57…We just got off to a quick start and got some momentum.” – Jace Moore on matching the championship 18-hole scoring mark of 61 with partner Jordan Woolf
“The seed next to your name is super cool but other than that, you’re just starting completely over.” – Carter Loflin on match play
“On the front nine, my body was feeling awesome. I could turn really well and was striking it well. I got on a good run … and Torey did a great job supporting me. But then halfway through the round my body got tired. I’m not used to playing this much golf. Torey really stepped up and carried me in the afternoon.” – Bret Parker on his performance with partner Torey Edwards
“It’s soft enough to stop decently long approach shots into the green. I fully expect [the West Course] to get firmer later in the week. And if it does, the golf course will change quickly. Other than like three holes for us today, we haven’t had any wind and the rough… you can absolutely play out of it.” – Chad Wilfong on why the scoring has been so good
“We were just trying to keep pace with them. A lot of positive vibes out there… It kind of rubs off on you.” – Charlie Palmer on shooting 11-under 130 with partner Inigo Izuzquiza while playing alongside Matthew McLaughlin and Christopher Vozza who shot 12 under par.
“Gosh, it’d be nice to get one [USGA title] and add that feather to my cap, too. It’d be great to have as a reference point while we’re on air.” – Drew Stoltz (11-under 130 with 2008 U.S. Amateur runner-up Drew Kittleson) when asked about his Siriux/XM podcast partner Colt Knost, who won the 2007 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links titles
David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at email@example.com.
The Social Scene
Six players from New York State are competing in the 7th #USFourBall at the CC of Birmingham in Alabama!— New York State Golf Assoc. (@NYSGA1923) May 15, 2022
Follow along and see which teams will survive the 36-hole cut and move into tomorrow's match play rounds.
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