The audacity of youth is on full display in the 123rd U.S. Amateur Championship. In Round 2 of stroke play on Tuesday morning, a pair of 16-year-olds in the same group, Bowen Mauss and Oklahoma State signee Preston Stout, matched 7-under-par rounds of 65 at Colorado Golf Club (CGC), the stroke-play co-host for the championship. Not to be outdone, two groups later, another 16-year-old named Blades Brown, from Nashville, Tenn., did them one better with an 8-under 64, matching the course record for CGC and earning a share of medalist honors.
Brown, who turned 16 in May, joined Round 1 solo leader Sampson Zheng, 22, of the People’s Republic of China; and Jackson Buchanan, 21, of Dacula, Ga., as co-medalists at 7-under-par 136, thus becoming the youngest co-medalist in championship history. The rising sophomore at Brentwood Academy in Nashville and a two-time state high school champion, eclipses Bob Jones, who was 18 when he earned co-medalist honors in the 1920 U.S. Amateur at Engineers Country Club in Roslyn Harbor, N.Y.
Stout joined OSU teammate Jonas Baumgartner in making the cut for match play. Baumgartner tied for 10th in stroke play after rounds of 72-67 to finish at 4-under. Two Oklahoma Sooners also made the match play field of 64. Ben Lorenz tied for 17th at 2 under after rounds of 68-72, while Andrew Goodman of Norman made the cut on the number in a tie for 50th at even par after rounds of 73-70. Former Cowboy Brian Stark also made the cut at even par.
Among those not advancing were OSU’s Leo Oyo at 6 over, OU’s Ryder Cowan of Edmond at 10 over and Stephen Campbell Jr at 5 over as well as Luke Morgan of Guthrie at 26 over.
The Round of 64 will begin at 9 a.m. MDT. Two rounds of match play will be played on Thursday, with the quarterfinals on Friday, the semifinals on Saturday, and the 36-hole final on Sunday.
Brown sat at 1 over par after five holes at CGC on Tuesday, but he jump-started his run to sharing the medal with four birdies and an eagle in his next seven holes, holing a 58-degree wedge for eagle on the 311-yard, par-4 eighth. He wrapped up his round with an eagle-birdie-birdie flourish to tie the competitive course record at CGC, by Petter Mikalsen, who was playing for the University of Denver in a 2016 event.
“I was told the U.S. Am is like one level down from the U.S. Open,” said Brown. “To be able to shoot 8 under here is awesome. It really gives me confidence in my game and my practice.”
Stout, of Dallas, Texas, who reached the quarterfinals of the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur, his first USGA championship, set up his stunning 65 with a bogey-free, 6-under 30 on his inward nine. Mauss, of Draper, Utah, had eight birdies and one bogey on the way to his 65. Both got into the match-play bracket, Stout with a 2-under 141 total, and Mauss at even-par 143.
“I hit it really good yesterday, I was just poor around the greens,” Stout said. “I don’t think I made a putt outside 4 feet. So I knew I was swinging it good and I was hitting the ball good enough to have a low score. I just needed to get the putter going and that’s what I did today. I just tried to focus more on my feel and speed. That was the biggest difference for me.”