Plenty of intrigue on day two of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship


ANDOVER, Kan. – Austin Eckroat, 18, of Edmond, Okla., fired his second consecutive bogey-free 66 Tuesday to earn medalist honors in the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at the par-71, 7,049-yard Flint Hills National Golf Club. Eckroat finished at 10-under-par 132 and matched the championship’s stroke-play scoring record.

Eckroat, who advanced to the Round of 16 last year, tied the mark set by James Vargas, who also totaled 132 at Oak Hills Country Club in 2001.

“You don’t really hear of a lot of the medalists winning the match play, but that would be cool to do both,” said Eckroat, who will attend Oklahoma State University in the fall. “It’s not the main trophy but it is cool to see your name up top knowing that I am playing well going into the next couple of days.”

Brandon Mancheno, 17, of Jacksonville, Fla., had an opportunity to share stroke-play medalist honors but made a double bogey on his final hole, the par-4 ninth, and finished two strokes behind Eckroat at 8-under 134. Mancheno, who established the course record with a sizzling 63 in the first round, sent his tee shot, with a 3-wood, into the left rough, then missed the green to the right and hit his chip through the green.

“I knew I needed a par to tie,” said Mancheno, who made birdie on the par-3 eighth to tie for the lead at 10 under when he hit an 8-iron to within a foot. “It was a little disappointing, but there’s another tournament to be played over the next few days.”

Mancheno, who made four birdies on his inward nine, was attempting to become the fourth player to earn medalists honor twice. He turned in the best stroke-play score at Colleton River Plantation Club in 2015.

The U.S. Junior Amateur consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Saturday at 7 a.m. CDT.

Meanwhile, Eckroat made several good pars, including a 20-foot putt on No. 12, his third hole, and converted an up-and-down from short of the green on the par-4 seventh.

“Two completely opposite rounds,” said Eckroat, who has won two Class 6A state high school championships. “Yesterday, I hit it really well and today I had a lot of par saves.”

Eckroat did make three birdies on his outward nine and struck a sand wedge to within 2 feet on the par-5 18th. He punctuated his round with an eagle at No. 5 by blasting a 270-yard 3-wood to set up an 8-foot putt from above the hole.

Cole Ponich, 17, of Salt Lake City, Utah, tied Mancheno at 134. He took advantage of Flint Hills National’s par 5s and added a tap-in birdie on the drivable par-4 sixth to card a 69 following his first-round 65.

“I think it really sets up well for me because the strength of my game is that I hit it straight off the tee, and not hitting fairways here can really punish you because the rough is pretty thick,” said Ponich, who failed to qualify for match play in his first Junior Amateur last year. “The greens are fair; there are funnels and if you miss it, it punishes you.”

John Pak, 18, of Scotch Plains, N.J.; Joshua Armstrong, 18, of Australia; and Eugene Hong, 17, of Orlando, Fla., finished in a three-way tie at 7-under 135. Hong advanced to the U.S. Junior Amateur semifinal round in 2015 and 2016, and Pak was a semifinalist last year.

Pak, who shot a second-round 66 to reach match play for the fourth year in a row, eagled his second hole, the par-5 11th by hitting a 255-yard 3-wood to within 15 feet. He capped his play by dropping a 40-foot birdie putt on the ninth. Hong finished on the same hole and sank a 75-yard pitch with a 60-degree wedge for a birdie after getting into trouble off the tee. He earlier made three consecutive birdies on holes 3, 4 and 5 en route to a 67.

Armstrong, who played his way to the Round of 16 at this year’s Australian Amateur and tied for fifth in the Australian Boys Amateur, accumulated eight birdies in posting a 66 to go with his first-round 69. A double-bogey on the par-4 second kept him from going lower.

“The better you play in bigger events, like this one and the Aussie Amateur, the more confidence you get out of them,” he said. “You start thinking that you are starting to learn how to contend at this level.”

Fellow Australian and defending champion Min Woo Lee and Matthew Wolff, 18, of Agoura Hills, Calif., each had a 67 to post a 36-hole score of 136. Lee keyed his round with some good swings on the par 3s that resulted in birdies. He hit a 6-iron to within 12 feet on No. 4 and a 7-iron to within 18 feet on No. 8. Wollf birdied six of his opening 10 holes. His wedge play set up short birdie putts on holes 2 and 3 before he later nipped a 56-degree wedge to within 6 feet on the par-3 10th.

“Keep it in play and hitting putts harder,” said Lee about what he learned in stroke play that will help him in match play. “The greens aren’t running that fast, so you have to be aggressive. I’ve left about 20 to 30 percent of my putts short.”

Cole Hammer’s rounds of 68 and 70 advanced him to match play for the third consecutive year. Hammer, 17, of Houston, Texas, nearly aced the 203-yard, par-3 17th with a 5-iron before settling for an 8-foot birdie putt. Last year’s runner-up, Noah Goodwin, 17, of Corinth, Texas, also moved forward with a 70 to finish at at 1-under 141, while hometown favorite Wells Padgett, 18, of Wichita, Kan., safely reached match play at 3-under 139.

“I love match play, I just love it,” said Hammer, who competed in the U.S. Open at age 15 two years ago at Chambers Bay. “It’s a different type of golf, and I feel like I’m really solid at it.”

Teddy Tetak, 18, of Slovakia, had the low round of the day with a 6-under 65 after opening with a 74. He started with an eagle on No. 1 and added six birdies. Tyler Jones, 16, of Westerville, Ohio, registered the second hole-in-one of the championship by using a 6-iron at the 190-yard, par-3 14th.

Ten players who tied for 64th place at 6-over 148 played off for the final match-play berth. Skyler Eubank, 17, of Meridan, Idaho, advanced with a birdie putt on the third playoff hole. The first round of match play begins on Wednesday at 8 a.m.

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.

ANDOVER, Kan. — Results from Tuesday’s second round of stroke play at the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, played at the 7,049-yard, par-71 Flint Hills National Golf Club.

*Advanced in a 10-for-1 playoff for the final match-play berth

Austin Eckroat, Edmond, Okla. – 66-66–132

Brandon Mancheno, Jacksonville, Fla. – 63-71–134

Cole Ponich, Salt Lake City, Utah – 65-69–134

John Pak, Scotch Plains, N.J. – 69-66–135

Joshua Armstrong, Australia – 69-66–135

Eugene Hong, Orlando, Fla. – 68-67–135

Min Woo Lee, Australia – 69-67–136

Matthew Wolff, Agoura Hills, Calif. – 69-67–136

Logan McAllister, Oklahoma City, Okla. – 70-67–137

Mac Meissner, San Antonio, Texas – 69-68–137

Davis Shore, Knoxville, Tenn. – 69-68–137

Aman Gupta, Charlotte, N.C. – 70-68–138

Cole Hammer, Houston, Texas – 68-70–138

Joe Highsmith, Lakewood, Wash. – 71-67–138

Wells Padgett, Wichita, Kan. – 67-72–139

Teddy Tetak, Slovakia – 74-65–139

Won Jun Lee, Republic of Korea – 70-70–140

Aaron Chen, Fremont, Calif. – 69-71–140

Noah Goodwin, Corinth, Texas – 71-70–141

Frankie Capan, North Oaks, Minn. – 70-71–141

Jackson Suber, Tampa, Fla. – 72-69–141

Joseph Pagdin, England – 70-71–141

Rayhan Thomas, India – 72-69–141

Akshay Bhatia, Wake Forest, N.C. – 71-70–141

Andrew O’Leary, Norfolk, Mass. – 69-73–142

Jake Beber-Frankel, Miami, Fla. – 72-70–142

Ricky Castillo, Yorba Linda, Calif. – 67-75–142

Cameron Sisk, El Cajon, Calif. – 75-67–142

Wil Gibson, Jonesboro, Ark. – 70-73–143

Cooper Parks, Campbellsville, Ky. – 69-74–143

Eddy Lai, San Jose, Calif. – 73-70–143

Andrew Kozan, West Palm Beach, Fla. – 69-74–143

Yuki Moriyama, Japan – 73-70–143

Kaito Onishi, Japan – 65-78–143

Sean Maruyama, Encino, Calif. – 67-76–143

Garrick Higgo, South Africa – 76-67–143

Trent Phillips, Spartanburg, S.C. – 77-66–143

Brandon Gillis, Nashua, N.H. – 71-72–143

Noah Woolsey, Pleasanton, Calif. – 70-74–144

Christian Salzer, Sumter, S.C. – 73-71–144

Parker Coody, Plano, Texas – 72-72–144

Cecil Wegener, Ridgeland, Miss. – 74-70–144

Peter Fountain, Raleigh, N.C. – 69-75–144

Jackson Solem, Longmont, Colo. – 75-69–144

Turk Pettit, Auburn, Ala. – 75-69–144

Dylan Fritz, Las Vegas, Nev. – 70-74–144

Cameron John, Australia – 71-74–145

Davis Bryant, Aurora, Colo. – 71-74–145

Ryan Gerard, Raleigh, N.C. – 75-70–145

Ryan Smith, Carlsbad, Calif. – 76-69–145

Garrett Barber, West Palm Beach, Fla. – 77-68–145

George McNeely, Carmel, Calif. – 75-70–145

James Song, Canada – 72-74–146

Jonathan Wijono, Indonesia – 73-73–146

David Morgan, Naples, Fla. – 73-73–146

Kaiwen Liu, People’s Republic of China – 72-74–146

Remington Hirano, Honolulu, Hawaii – 73-73–146

Noah Norton, Chico, Calif. – 75-71–146

Ryan Hall, Knoxville, Tenn. – 72-75–147

Colin Bowles, Albany, Ga. – 71-76–147

Angelo Giantsopoulos, Canada – 73-74–147

Alex Jamieson, Duxbury, Mass. – 76-71–147

Alvin Kwak, Mukilteo, Wash. – 74-73–147

*Skyler Eubank, Meridian, Idaho – 72-76–148

(Failed to Qualify)

Tommy Kuhl, Morton, Ill. – 74-74–148

Jack Kozlowski, Columbus, Ohio – 74-74–148

Sarut Vongchaisit, Thailand – 75-73–148

Hank Lierz, Saint Joseph, Mo. – 72-76–148

Ben Carr, Columbus, Ga. – 74-74–148

Rhett Sellers, Longview, Texas – 74-74–148

Tyler Strafaci, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – 77-71–148

Austin Carter, Kingsport, Tenn. – 74-74–148

Chris Nido, Miami, Fla. – 74-74–148

Thomas Ponder, Dothan, Ala. – 72-77–149

Hudson Dubinski, Columbia, Mo. – 74-75–149

Jack Ebner, Edina, Minn. – 80-70–150

Shuai Ming (Ben) Wong, Hong Kong China – 81-69–150

Trent Tipton, Orient, Ohio – 77-73–150

Blake Solomon, Dublin, Ohio – 74-76–150

Chris Gotterup, Little Silver, N.J. – 73-77–150

Rodrigo Rodas, Guatemala – 77-73–150

Otto Voettiner, Haymarket, Va. – 77-74–151

Patrick Ward, Chicago, Ill. – 75-76–151

Drake Mendenhall, Granite Bay, Calif. – 72-79–151

Chad Sewell, Conroe, Texas – 78-73–151

Ryggs Johnston, Libby, Mont. – 74-77–151

Bo Peng, People’s Republic of China – 77-74–151

Austin Vukovits, Indianapolis, Ind. – 75-76–151

Darren Lin, Chino Hills, Calif. – 75-76–151

Ross Steelman, Columbia, Mo. – 72-80–152

Davis Thompson, Auburn, Ala. – 72-80–152

Clay Seeber, Newport Beach, Calif. – 73-79–152

Paul Gonzalez, Waxahachie, Texas – 77-75–152

Nick Frey, Carmel, Ind. – 76-76–152

Stephen Kocerha, Carmel, Ind. – 72-80–152

Gunnar Knutson, Mead, Wash. – 70-82–152

Cameron Moore, Glen Allen, Va. – 74-78–152

Lincoln Johnson, Chaska, Minn. – 80-72–152

Jack Massei, Cary, N.C. – 76-76–152

Joe Bultman, Shawnee, Kan. – 72-80–152

Trenton Johnson, Brentwood, Tenn. – 79-73–152

Christopher Fosdick, Middlefield, Conn. – 76-76–152

Ethan Han, Rowland Heights, Calif. – 73-80–153

Wei Wei Gao, Philippines – 81-72–153

Cade McCallum, Grand Island, Neb. – 78-75–153

Blake Tomlinson, Salt Lake City, Utah – 81-72–153

William Paysse, Temple, Texas – 78-76–154

Andrew Michienzi, Needham, Mass. – 76-78–154

Viraj Garewal, Raleigh, N.C. – 78-76–154

Parker Reddig, Minneapolis, Minn. – 74-80–154

Mark Goetz, Greensburg, Pa. – 82-72–154

Scotty Kennon, Bandon, Ore. – 76-78–154

Kelvin Lim, Canada – 76-78–154

Dylan Rotter, Potomac, Md. – 83-72–155

Cameron Meeks, Las Vegas, Nev. – 81-74–155

Douglass Ergood, Mount Laurel, N.J. – 74-81–155

Christian Chapman, Victor, N.Y. – 76-80–156

Andrew Lewis, Carmel, Ind. – 81-75–156

Max Ting, Atherton, Calif. – 78-78–156

Yu-Jen Cheng, Chinese Taipei – 78-78–156

Jed Baranczyk, Green Bay, Wis. – 76-80–156

Chase Goff, Annapolis, Md. – 77-79–156

Andrew Crockett, Fayetteville, Ga. – 79-77–156

Austin Fox, Delmar, N.Y. – 77-80–157

Logan White, Lewisville, Texas – 79-78–157

Taylor Beckstead, Canada – 77-80–157

Thomas Pfoestl, Italy – 86-72–158

Bennett Cotten, Winnetka, Ill. – 82-76–158

TJ Shehee, Mead, Colo. – 78-80–158

Matt Wingren, Hinsdale, Ill. – 81-77–158

Ricky Costello, Homer Glen, Ill. – 84-74–158

Benjamin Pochet, Royersford, Pa. – 77-81–158

Carter Lee, Tillamook, Ore. – 78-81–159

Colt Sherrell, Maple Valley, Wash. – 81-78–159

Luke Kluver, Norfolk, Neb. – 77-82–159

Trueman Park, Chandler, Ariz. – 78-81–159

Matt Hopley, Canada – 73-87–160

Ryan Lee, Norwood, N.J. – 80-80–160

Jack Glenn, Stillwater, Okla. – 77-83–160

Lane Wallace, Yukon, Okla. – 79-81–160

Berk Harvey, San Jose, Calif. – 79-82–161

Tyler Jones, Westerville, Ohio – 77-84–161

Patrick Ryan, Maplewood, N.J. – 83-78–161

Connery Meyer, Marietta, Ga. – 80-82–162

Hayden Blair, Tullahoma, Tenn. – 83-79–162

Zachary Shallat, Dix Hills, N.Y. – 86-77–163

Joey Geary, Phoenix, Ariz. – 80-84–164

Robert Ghirardini, Atlanta, Ga. – 82-82–164

Matt Dickson, Washingtonville, N.Y. – 81-83–164

Isley McClure, Waynesville, N.C. – 82-83–165

Nick Willis, Spartanburg, S.C. – 81-84–165

Griffin Long, Davis, Calif. – 84-82–166

Jacob Luett, Clinton, Iowa – 81-86–167

Jacob Calamaro, Newtown Square, Pa. – 89-78–167

Adam Rossi, Jefferson Hills, Pa. – 83-85–168

Charles Reiter, Palm Desert, Calif. – 80-88–168

ANDOVER, Kan. – Pairings for Wednesday’s first round of match play at the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, played at 7,049-yard, par-71 Flint Hills National Golf Club.

Round of 64

(Upper Bracket)

8 a.m. – Austin Eckroat, Edmond, Okla. (132) vs. Skyler Eubank, Meridian, Idaho (148)

8:10 a.m. – Andrew Kozan, West Palm Beach, Fla. (143) vs. Yuki Moriyama, Japan (143)

8:20 a.m. – Teddy Tetak, Slovakia (139) vs. Ryan Gerard, Raleigh, N.C. (145)

8:30 a.m. – Won Jun Lee, Republic of Korea (140) vs. Davis Bryant, Aurora, Colo. (145)

8:40 a.m. – Matthew Wolff, Agoura Hills, Calif. (136) vs. Remington Hirano, Honolulu, Hawaii (146)

8:50 a.m. – Andrew O’Leary, Norfolk, Mass. (142) vs. Christian Salzer, Sumter, S.C. (144)

9 a.m. – Logan McAllister, Oklahoma City, Okla. (137) vs. Kaiwen Liu, People’s Republic of China (146)

9:10 a.m. – Akshay Bhatia, Wake Forest, N.C. (141) vs. Parker Coody, Plano, Texas (144)

9:20 a.m. – John Pak, Scotch Plains, N.J. (135) vs. Angelo Giantsopoulos, Canada (147)

9:30 a.m. – Wil Gibson, Jonesboro, Ark. (143) vs. Garrick Higgo, South Africa (143)

9:40 a.m. – Cole Hammer, Houston, Texas  (138) vs. George McNeely, Carmel, Calif. (145)

9:50 a.m. – Frankie Capan, North Oaks, Minn. (141) vs. Turk Pettit, Auburn, Ala. (144)

10 a.m. – Joshua Armstrong, Australia (135) vs. Colin Bowles, Albany, Ga. (147)

10:10 a.m. – Cameron Sisk, El Cajon, Calif. (142) vs. Trent Phillips, Spartanburg, S.C. (143)

10:20 a.m. – Aman Gupta, Charlotte, N.C. (138) vs. James Song, Canada (146)

10:30 a.m. – Jackson Suber, Tampa, Fla. (141) vs. Jackson Solem, Longmont, Colo. (144)

(Lower Bracket)

10:40 a.m. – Brandon Mancheno, Jacksonville, Fla. (134) vs. Alvin Kwak, Mukilteo, Wash. (147)

10:50 a.m. – Eddy Lai, San Jose, Calif. (143) vs. Kaito Onishi, Japan (143)

11:00 a.m. – Wells Padgett, Wichita, Kan. (139) vs. Ryan Smith, Carlsbad, Calif. (145)

11:10 a.m. – Aaron Chen, Fremont, Calif. (140) vs. Cameron John, Australia (145)

11:20 a.m. – Min Woo Lee, Australia (136) vs. Noah Norton, Chico, Calif. (146)

11:30 a.m. – Jake Beber-Frankel, Miami, Fla. (142) vs. Noah Woolsey, Pleasanton, Calif. (144)

11:40 a.m. – Mac Meissner, San Antonio, Texas (137) vs. David Morgan, Naples, Fla. (146)

11:50 a.m. – Rayhan Thomas, India (141) vs. Cecil Wegener, Ridgeland, Miss. (144)

Noon – Cole Ponich, Salt Lake City, Utah (134) vs. Alex Jamieson, Duxbury, Mass. (147)

12:10 p.m. – Cooper Parks, Campbellsville, Ky. (143) vs. Sean Maruyama, Encino, Calif. (143)

12:20 p.m. – Joe Highsmith, Lakewood, Wash. (138) vs. Garrett Barber, West Palm Beach, Fla. (145)

12:30 p.m. – Noah Goodwin, Corinth, Texas (141) vs. Dylan Fritz, Las Vegas, Nev. (144)

12:40 p.m. – Eugene Hong, Orlando, Fla. (135) vs. Ryan Hall, Knoxville, Tenn. (147)

12:50 p.m. – Ricky Castillo, Yorba Linda, Calif. (142) vs. Brandon Gillis, Nashua, N.H. (143)

1 p.m. – Davis Shore, Knoxville, Tenn. (137) vs. Jonathan Wijono, Indonesia (146)

1:10 p.m. – Joseph Pagdin, England (141) vs. Peter Fountain, Raleigh, N.C. (144)

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