July 13, 2006
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s Kevin Larsen continued his torrid play Thursday with two big victories to lead the eight golfers who advanced to the quarterfinals of the 81st U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, being played at the par-72, 7,061-yard Gold Mountain Golf Club.
In his second-round match, the 21-year-old Larsen recorded a 6-and-5 victory over stroke-play co-medalist Justin Metzger, 21, of Knoxville, Tenn. Larsen and Metzger were all square after three holes, but Larsen went on to win six of the next seven holes to cruise to victory.
“It looked like it was going to be a back-and-forth match, then on four I made a putt for birdie and he missed a putt and it seemed to snowball after that,” said Larsen. “I kept it in play pretty much the whole day and made a few putts.”
In his afternoon match, against Derek Fathauer, 20, of Jensen Beach, Fla., the rising senior from Santa Barbara, Calif., won the first three holes and never looked back en route to a 5-and-4 third-round win. In three matches at the 2006 APL, Larsen has yet to trail.
A third-team All-American and all-Atlantic Coast Conference player last spring, Larsen also breezed through his first-round match Wednesday, winning 5 and 4 over Derek Busby of Ruston, La. He reached the 64-player match play field by tying for 27th in the 36-hole stroke-play qualifier.
“I’m just keeping it in play,” he said. “I’m not really hitting it close, I’m just making a lot of pars and putting pretty well so once in a while the putts fall in. I’m not making too many bogeys, which is good out on this course. This is a tough course.”
Also advancing was 2005 USA Walker Cupper Anthony Kim, who came back from a three-hole deficit to outlast Rory Hie, 17, of Los Angeles, Calif., in 19 holes in the second round. He then cruised to a 5-and-4 third-round win over Brad Marek, 22, of Arlington Heights, Ill.
Quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be played Friday, with the 36-hole final scheduled for Saturday. Live scoring can be followed at http://www.usapl.org/results/.
The champion receives a gold medal and custody of the James D. Standish Jr. Cup for one year, a 10-year exemption from sectional qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, an exemption from local qualifying for the next three U.S. Open Championships, an exemption from sectional qualifying for the 2006 U.S. Amateur, an exemption from sectional qualifying for the 2006 U.S. Mid-Amateur, if otherwise eligible, and an invitation to compete in the next Masters Tournament, if still an amateur.
A total of 4,739 contestants entered the 2006 championship, of which 155 qualified for the stroke-play portion that began Monday. The championship is open to amateur golfers who, since Jan. 1, 2006, have been bona fide public course players and have not held privileges at any course that does not expend playing privileges to the general public, or privileges of any private club maintaining its own course and have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 8.4. A bona fide public course player may hold incidental privileges of a course not open to the public when such privileges are provided by (1) an educational institution at which he is a student, or (2) a federal armed service of which he is a member, or (3) an industry by which he is employed.
2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links ChampionshipGold Mountain Golf Club, Bremerton, Wash.Larsen's Match Results
First round – d. Derek Busby, 5 and 4 Second round – d. Justin Metzger, 6 and 5 Third round – d. Derek Fathauer, 5 and 4
Quarterfinal Matches – Friday, July 14 (all times Pacific)
7:30 a.m. – Kevin Larsen, Santa Barbara, Calif. (146) vs. Matt Savage, Louisville, Ky. (145) 7:40 a.m. – Anthony Kim, Traverse City, Mich. (143) vs. Matt Harmon, Grand Rapids, Mich. (144) 7:40 a.m. – Sihwan Kim, Buena Park, Calif. (144) vs. Tim Feenstra, Lynden, Wash. (147) 7:50 a.m. – Casey Watabu, Kapaa, Hawaii (148) vs. Daniel Im, Fullerton, Calif. (147)
Information in this story came from the United States Golf Association.