Lloyd Earns Stroke Play Qualifying Medalist Honors at AZ Am
University of Utah-bound star shoots -7 (65) to win stroke play qualifying by two strokes
by David Bataller
Director of Communications | Arizona Golf Association
SCOTTSDALE – For the second straight year, Scottsdale’s Joseph Lloyd captured the Stroke Play Qualifying portion of the 97th Arizona Amateur Championship Presented by PXG. Lloyd shot a Tuesday-best -7 (65) at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon Course, building upon Monday’s -4 (68) to sit at -11 overall. Previous Arizona Amateur champions Jake Chanen (2018 and 2020) and Evan White (2019), along with Reece Nilsen, are two strokes back at -9 overall.
Twelve players will participate in a playoff Wednesday morning for the final three spots in the Round of 64.
“I was just trying to stay patient, try to get the [par] fives and give myself looks on the [par] four’s and if they fall, they fall,” said Lloyd, a recent Pinnacle High School graduate who will continue his academic and athletic career at the University of Utah. “If I can continue how I’m playing it’s going to be hard to stop me.”
Lloyd carded six birdies and an eagle during his round, with one bogey, to land himself in familiar territory after earning co-medalist honors with Canon Olkowski at Desert Forest Golf Club. But after being eliminated in the Round of 8 the last two Arizona Amateur Championships, Lloyd is looking forward to advancing further in 2021.
“I’ve learned a lot, and I think I’ve grown as a player since last year,” said Lloyd. “There’s a couple of things I’ve tidied up swing-wise, so I’m looking forward to the next round.”
Anawin Pikulthong, who at 16-years-old is the youngest player in the field, and first-round co-leader Ben Lorenz rounded out the top-5 at -8 overall, respectively.
Nilsen and White shot matching -5 (67) rounds Tuesday, each eagling the par-5 14th hole. Nilsen added three birdies on a clean card, while White tallied four birdies and a bogey. Chanen made five birdies in his second round, with a double bogey to card a -3 (69).
But as a two-time champion, Chanen knows it’s a brand-new ballgame starting with Wednesday’s Round of 64 Match Play.
“Last year with Chris, I was down the whole match,” said the defending champion of his Final Match win over Chris Kamin at Desert Forest Golf Club. “I never felt comfortable out there, I never really found my stride at all. And then I really kind of settled in on the last four holes, so that’s the thing: You never really know about Match Play.
“Match Play is completely different. It’s something I’m really comfortable with, because you can be as aggressive as you want and there’s hardly any repercussion.”
After the playoff, all Round of 64 matches will be contested Wednesday. Round of 32 and Round of 16 matches are scheduled for Thursday. Friday sees all Round of 8 and Round of 4 matches, with the last two players remaining in field squaring off in Saturday’s Championship match.
Full leaderboard can be found by clicking here.