Round of 32 Set After Day One of AZ Amateur Match Play
For Immediate Release
August 10, 2022
SCOTTSDALE – Day One of Match Play at the 98th Arizona Amateur Championship saw the top four overall seeds advance to the Round of 32 at Desert Mountain Club’s Outlaw Course, following an 11-for-5 playoff to determine the Round of 64 match pay field. Stroke Play Qualifying Medalist Rylan Johnson, Joe Neuheisel, Caden Christopherson and Cade Anderson all cruised into Match Play Day Two with wins.
The same could not be said for the fifth overall seed, Joey Geary, who fell to defending champion Kristoffer Marshall 4 & 2 after Marshall survived the morning’s playoff. Marshall raced out to a three-hole lead in the first three holes of the match, only to see Geary fight back to tie the match on 12. But Marshall made three birdies in his last four holes to account for the final margin.
“I’m just plugging along,” said Marshall, winner of the 97th Arizona Amateur Championship a year ago at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon Course. “With all the injuries I’ve had, this last two months off it’s finally felt like maybe today I had a little bit of a flow that I usually have in me.”
The top 64 players qualified for Match Play after a two-day Stroke Play Qualifying event, and were then split into four 16-player brackets: Hogan, Nicklaus, Palmer and Snead. Ryan Pelletier, Dylan Middlemiss, Tyler Svendson, Zack Missigman joined Marshall in the Round of 64.
In a tournament that saw the top five players in Stroke Play Qualifying combine for an average age of 21, reigning AGA Senior Player of the Year Brad Wayment made a statement for the “experienced” crew, beating Tucson’s Ben Bradford 6 & 4. A smiling Wayment, 57, said the age difference has been apparent all week.
“It’s interesting when most of these out here could be my kids,” said Wayment, who competed in the British Senior Amateur Championship last month at Royal Dornoch Golf Club in Scotland. “I have kids their age and it’s great to see, man. They’re amazing. They hit the ball so far. We just hit it and hope we’re within one or two Super Walmarts of them when they hit the ball.
“But yeah, it’s great to see and it’s great for the game. Everybody that I’ve played with, these young kids are just super quality kids and they’ve learned a lot. The game has taught them well and that’s great for our future.”
Reigning AGA Championship winner Brian Blanchard of Scottsdale beat Jonathan Curran 3 & 2 to advance to Thursday morning’s Round of 32.
“We both struggled today, we didn’t have our best stuff,” said Blanchard, who is celebrating his 30th birthday Wednesday. “I really struggled on the greens. I hit it well and I ended up coming up on top, just trying to play steady but we both did not have our best stuff today.”
Scottsdale’s Davis Johnson, the seventh overall seed, cruised to a 6 & 5 win over Teig Hauer. The Scottsdale Prep graduate kept the ball in play and had a clean scorecard, which he said were keys to the win.
“I just kept it really solid and didn’t make many mistakes,” said Johnson, who enters his second year at the University of Utah this fall. “I was bogey free so that was kind of just the goal going in: just don’t lose any holes. And I did a pretty good job of not giving away any holes.”
Round of 32 matches are scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning, with the winners then turning around and playing their Round of 16 matches Thursday afternoon. Friday sees all Round of 8 and Round of 4 matches, with the last two players remaining in field squaring off in Saturday morning’s Championship Match.
Full match play bracket can be found by clicking here.