Round of 32 Set After Day One of Match Play at AZ Amateur
For Immediate Release
August 11, 2021
ROUND OF 32 SET AFTER DAY ONE OF MATCH PLAY AT THE 97TH ARIZONA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
12-for-3 playoff starts mammoth day of golf that sees three of the top four seeds advance
SCOTTSDALE – The top four seeds advanced to Thursday’s Round of 32 at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon Course, following a 25-minute rain delay to start the morning’s play. Stroke Play Qualifying Medalist Joseph Lloyd, two-time winner Jake Chanen, Reece Nilsen and 2019 Champion Evan White all cruised into Match Play Day Two with wins.
“I started out pretty well – I was hitting all the fairways and all the greens on the front nine,” said White, a 1 up winner over Will Evans. “I was making it stress-free on myself, putting the pressure on [Evans], making him have to beat 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 Woods. After the morning rain delay, Rob McIver, Joey Geary and Jeff New survived a 12-player playoff for the final three spots in the Round of 64.
But their respective Arizona Amateur Championships would soon end. McIver ran into a buzzsaw against third-seeded Nilsen, 7 & 5. Geary fell by the same margin against the 2018 and 2020 Champion Chanen. And New fell in a close match to Lloyd, 3 & 2.
“Jeff played great – it was a great match,” said Lloyd, an incoming freshman at the University of Utah. “I played well. I only missed one green all day and had a lot of birdie opportunities.”
The 18-year-old Lloyd is one of nine teenagers to advance to the Round of 32, a strong statement made by the next generation of Arizona Golf. The youngest player in the field, 16-year-old Anawin Pikulthong, was a 6 & 5 winner over Zachary McDermid.
“I had to hit a lot of quality shots – [McDermid] definitely made me work for [the win],” said Pikulthong, an incoming junior at Hamilton High School in Chandler. “I am the youngest, so I definitely don’t have any expectations on myself. I’m just trying to go out and hit good shots and good putts.”
“I got three up through four, and after that I just told myself to try to tie him through most of the holes and try to survive,” said 16-year-old Adam Miller, a 3 & 2 winner over 2021 Arizona Stroke Play Champion Sean O’Donnell. “It’s match play – you’re only playing against one person. You don’t need to worry about the rest of the field.”
Erik Henrikson failed to advance out of the Round of 64, but had the shot of the day: A hole-in-one on the par-3 5th, one-hopping a 132-yard pitching wedge into the bottom of the cup.
Round of 32 matches are scheduled to begin at 7:00 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.