Eckroat earns top seed in U.S. Junior Amateur, McAllister ties for ninth

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Austin Eckroat of Edmond shot his second consecutive bogey-free 5-under 66 to finish at 10-under par and lead qualifying for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, Kan. Eckroat finished at 10-under-par 132 and matched the championship’s stroke-play scoring record.

Eckroat, who advanced to the Round of 16 last year, tied the mark set by James Vargas, who also totaled 132 at Oak Hills Country Club in 2001.

Eckroat, the two-time Class 6A medalist from Edmond North who begins his career at Oklahoma State in the fall, earned the No. 1 seed for match play, which begins Wednesday.

Also in the top 10 were incoming OSU teammate Matthew Wolff of Agoura, Calif., who tied for seventh at 6-under after a second round 67, and Lane McAllister of Oklahoma City, a University of Oklahoma commit who shot rounds of 70-67 to finish tied for ninth at 5-under.

Failing to make the cut were Jack Glenn of Stillwater and Lane Wallace of Yukon, both tied for 137th at 18 over.

“You don’t really hear of a lot of the medalists winning the match play, but that would be cool to do both,” said Eckroat. “It’s not the main trophy but it is cool to see your name up top knowing that I am playing well going into the next couple of days.”

Brandon Mancheno, 17, of Jacksonville, Fla., had an opportunity to share stroke-play medalist honors but made a double bogey on his final hole, the par-4 ninth, and finished two strokes behind Eckroat at 8-under 134. Mancheno, who established the course record with a sizzling 63 in the first round, sent his tee shot, with a 3-wood, into the left rough, then missed the green to the right and hit his chip through the green.

“I knew I needed a par to tie,” said Mancheno, who made birdie on the par-3 eighth to tie for the lead at 10 under when he hit an 8-iron to within a foot. “It was a little disappointing, but there’s another tournament to be played over the next few days.”

Mancheno, who made four birdies on his inward nine, was attempting to become the fourth player to earn medalists honors twice. He turned in the best stroke-play score at Colleton River Plantation Club in 2015.

The U.S. Junior Amateur consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Saturday at 7 a.m. CDT.

Meanwhile, Eckroat made several good pars, including a 20-foot putt on No. 12, his third hole, and converted an up-and-down from short of the green on the par-4 seventh.

“Two completely opposite rounds,” said Eckroat, who has won two Class 6A state high school championships. “Yesterday, I hit it really well and today I had a lot of par saves.”

Eckroat did make three birdies on his outward nine and struck a sand wedge to within 2 feet on the par-5 18th. He punctuated his round with an eagle on No. 5 by blasting a 270-yard 3-wood to set up an 8-foot putt from above the hole.

Cole Ponich, 17, of Salt Lake City, Utah, tied Mancheno at 134. He took advantage of Flint Hills National’s par 5s and added a tap-in birdie on the drivable par-4 sixth to card a 69 following his first-round 65.

“I think it really sets up well for me because the strength of my game is that I hit it straight off the tee, and not hitting fairways here can really punish you because the rough is pretty thick,” said Ponich, who failed to qualify for match play in his first Junior Amateur last year. “The greens are fair; there are funnels and if you miss it, it punishes you.”

John Pak, 18, of Scotch Plains, N.J.; Joshua Armstrong, 18, of Australia; and Eugene Hong, 17, of Orlando, Fla.; finished in a three-way tie at 7-under 135. Hong advanced to the U.S. Junior Amateur semifinal round in 2015 and 2016, and Pak was a semifinalist last year.

Pak, who shot a second-round 66 to reach match play for the fourth year in a row, eagled his second hole, the par-5 11th by hitting a 255-yard 3-wood to within 15 feet. He capped his play by dropping a 40-foot birdie putt on the ninth. Hong finished on the same hole and sank a 75-yard pitch with a 60-degree wedge for a birdie after getting into trouble off the tee. He earlier made three consecutive birdies on holes 3, 4 and 5 en route to a 67.

Armstrong, who played his way to the Round of 16 in this year’s Australian Amateur and tied for fifth in the Australian Boys Amateur, accumulated eight birdies in posting a 66 to go with his first-round 69. A double bogey on the par-4 second kept him from going lower.

“The better you play in bigger events, like this one and the Aussie Amateur, the more confidence you get out of them,” he said. “You start thinking that you are starting to learn how to contend at this level.”

Fellow Australian and defending champion Min Woo Lee and Matthew Wolff, 18, of Agoura Hills, Calif., each had a 67 to post a 36-hole score of 136. Lee keyed his round with some good swings on the par 3s that resulted in birdies. He hit a 6-iron to within 12 feet on No. 4 and a 7-iron to within 18 feet on No. 8. Wollf birdied six of his opening 10 holes. His wedge play set up short birdie putts on holes 2 and 3 before he later nipped a 56-degree wedge to within 6 feet on the par-3 10th.

“Keep it in play and hitting putts harder,” said Lee about what he learned in stroke play that will help him in match play. “The greens aren’t running that fast, so you have to be aggressive. I’ve left about 20 to 30 percent of my putts short.”

Cole Hammer’s rounds of 68 and 70 advanced him to match play for the third consecutive year. Hammer, 17, of Houston, Texas, nearly aced the 203-yard, par-3 17th with a 5-iron before settling for an 8-foot birdie putt. Last year’s runner-up, Noah Goodwin, 17, of Corinth, Texas, also moved forward with a 70 to finish at at 1-under 141, while hometown favorite Wells Padgett, 18, of Wichita, Kan., safely reached match play at 3-under 139.

“I love match play, I just love it,” said Hammer, who competed in the U.S. Open at age 15 two years ago at Chambers Bay. “It’s a different type of golf, and I feel like I’m really solid at it.”

Teddy Tetak, 18, of Slovakia, had the low round of the day with a 6-under 65 after opening with a 74. He started with an eagle on No. 1 and added six birdies. Tyler Jones, 16, of Westerville, Ohio, registered the second hole-in-one of the championship by using a 6-iron on the 190-yard, par-3 14th.

Ten players who tied for 64th place at 6-over 148 played off for the final match-play berth. Skyler Eubank, 17, of Meridan, Idaho, advanced with a birdie putt on the third playoff hole. The first round of match play begins on Wednesday at 8 a.m.

The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

ANDOVER, Kan. — Results from Tuesday’s second round of stroke play at the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, played at the 7,049-yard, par-71 Flint Hills National Golf Club.

*Advanced in a 10-for-1 playoff for the final match-play berth

Austin Eckroat, Edmond, Okla. – 66-66–132
Brandon Mancheno, Jacksonville, Fla. – 63-71–134
Cole Ponich, Salt Lake City, Utah – 65-69–134
John Pak, Scotch Plains, N.J. – 69-66–135
Joshua Armstrong, Australia – 69-66–135
Eugene Hong, Orlando, Fla. – 68-67–135
Min Woo Lee, Australia – 69-67–136
Matthew Wolff, Agoura Hills, Calif. – 69-67–136
Logan McAllister, Oklahoma City, Okla. – 70-67–137
Mac Meissner, San Antonio, Texas – 69-68–137
Davis Shore, Knoxville, Tenn. – 69-68–137
Aman Gupta, Charlotte, N.C. – 70-68–138
Cole Hammer, Houston, Texas – 68-70–138
Joe Highsmith, Lakewood, Wash. – 71-67–138
Wells Padgett, Wichita, Kan. – 67-72–139
Teddy Tetak, Slovakia – 74-65–139
Won Jun Lee, Republic of Korea – 70-70–140
Aaron Chen, Fremont, Calif. – 69-71–140
Noah Goodwin, Corinth, Texas – 71-70–141
Frankie Capan, North Oaks, Minn. – 70-71–141
Jackson Suber, Tampa, Fla. – 72-69–141
Joseph Pagdin, England – 70-71–141
Rayhan Thomas, India – 72-69–141
Akshay Bhatia, Wake Forest, N.C. – 71-70–141
Andrew O’Leary, Norfolk, Mass. – 69-73–142
Jake Beber-Frankel, Miami, Fla. – 72-70–142
Ricky Castillo, Yorba Linda, Calif. – 67-75–142
Cameron Sisk, El Cajon, Calif. – 75-67–142
Wil Gibson, Jonesboro, Ark. – 70-73–143
Cooper Parks, Campbellsville, Ky. – 69-74–143
Eddy Lai, San Jose, Calif. – 73-70–143
Andrew Kozan, West Palm Beach, Fla. – 69-74–143
Yuki Moriyama, Japan – 73-70–143
Kaito Onishi, Japan – 65-78–143
Sean Maruyama, Encino, Calif. – 67-76–143
Garrick Higgo, South Africa – 76-67–143
Trent Phillips, Spartanburg, S.C. – 77-66–143
Brandon Gillis, Nashua, N.H. – 71-72–143
Noah Woolsey, Pleasanton, Calif. – 70-74–144
Christian Salzer, Sumter, S.C. – 73-71–144
Parker Coody, Plano, Texas – 72-72–144
Cecil Wegener, Ridgeland, Miss. – 74-70–144
Peter Fountain, Raleigh, N.C. – 69-75–144
Jackson Solem, Longmont, Colo. – 75-69–144
Turk Pettit, Auburn, Ala. – 75-69–144
Dylan Fritz, Las Vegas, Nev. – 70-74–144
Cameron John, Australia – 71-74–145
Davis Bryant, Aurora, Colo. – 71-74–145
Ryan Gerard, Raleigh, N.C. – 75-70–145
Ryan Smith, Carlsbad, Calif. – 76-69–145
Garrett Barber, West Palm Beach, Fla. – 77-68–145
George McNeely, Carmel, Calif. – 75-70–145
James Song, Canada – 72-74–146
Jonathan Wijono, Indonesia – 73-73–146
David Morgan, Naples, Fla. – 73-73–146
Kaiwen Liu, People’s Republic of China – 72-74–146
Remington Hirano, Honolulu, Hawaii – 73-73–146
Noah Norton, Chico, Calif. – 75-71–146
Ryan Hall, Knoxville, Tenn. – 72-75–147
Colin Bowles, Albany, Ga. – 71-76–147
Angelo Giantsopoulos, Canada – 73-74–147
Alex Jamieson, Duxbury, Mass. – 76-71–147
Alvin Kwak, Mukilteo, Wash. – 74-73–147
*Skyler Eubank, Meridian, Idaho – 72-76–148

(Failed to Qualify)
Tommy Kuhl, Morton, Ill. – 74-74–148
Jack Kozlowski, Columbus, Ohio – 74-74–148
Sarut Vongchaisit, Thailand – 75-73–148
Hank Lierz, Saint Joseph, Mo. – 72-76–148
Ben Carr, Columbus, Ga. – 74-74–148
Rhett Sellers, Longview, Texas – 74-74–148
Tyler Strafaci, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – 77-71–148
Austin Carter, Kingsport, Tenn. – 74-74–148
Chris Nido, Miami, Fla. – 74-74–148
Thomas Ponder, Dothan, Ala. – 72-77–149
Hudson Dubinski, Columbia, Mo. – 74-75–149
Jack Ebner, Edina, Minn. – 80-70–150
Shuai Ming (Ben) Wong, Hong Kong China – 81-69–150
Trent Tipton, Orient, Ohio – 77-73–150
Blake Solomon, Dublin, Ohio – 74-76–150
Chris Gotterup, Little Silver, N.J. – 73-77–150
Rodrigo Rodas, Guatemala – 77-73–150
Otto Voettiner, Haymarket, Va. – 77-74–151
Patrick Ward, Chicago, Ill. – 75-76–151
Drake Mendenhall, Granite Bay, Calif. – 72-79–151
Chad Sewell, Conroe, Texas – 78-73–151
Ryggs Johnston, Libby, Mont. – 74-77–151
Bo Peng, People’s Republic of China – 77-74–151
Austin Vukovits, Indianapolis, Ind. – 75-76–151
Darren Lin, Chino Hills, Calif. – 75-76–151
Ross Steelman, Columbia, Mo. – 72-80–152
Davis Thompson, Auburn, Ala. – 72-80–152
Clay Seeber, Newport Beach, Calif. – 73-79–152
Paul Gonzalez, Waxahachie, Texas – 77-75–152
Nick Frey, Carmel, Ind. – 76-76–152
Stephen Kocerha, Carmel, Ind. – 72-80–152
Gunnar Knutson, Mead, Wash. – 70-82–152
Cameron Moore, Glen Allen, Va. – 74-78–152
Lincoln Johnson, Chaska, Minn. – 80-72–152
Jack Massei, Cary, N.C. – 76-76–152
Joe Bultman, Shawnee, Kan. – 72-80–152
Trenton Johnson, Brentwood, Tenn. – 79-73–152
Christopher Fosdick, Middlefield, Conn. – 76-76–152
Ethan Han, Rowland Heights, Calif. – 73-80–153
Wei Wei Gao, Philippines – 81-72–153
Cade McCallum, Grand Island, Neb. – 78-75–153
Blake Tomlinson, Salt Lake City, Utah – 81-72–153
William Paysse, Temple, Texas – 78-76–154
Andrew Michienzi, Needham, Mass. – 76-78–154
Viraj Garewal, Raleigh, N.C. – 78-76–154
Parker Reddig, Minneapolis, Minn. – 74-80–154
Mark Goetz, Greensburg, Pa. – 82-72–154
Scotty Kennon, Bandon, Ore. – 76-78–154
Kelvin Lim, Canada – 76-78–154
Dylan Rotter, Potomac, Md. – 83-72–155
Cameron Meeks, Las Vegas, Nev. – 81-74–155
Douglass Ergood, Mount Laurel, N.J. – 74-81–155
Christian Chapman, Victor, N.Y. – 76-80–156
Andrew Lewis, Carmel, Ind. – 81-75–156
Max Ting, Atherton, Calif. – 78-78–156
Yu-Jen Cheng, Chinese Taipei – 78-78–156
Jed Baranczyk, Green Bay, Wis. – 76-80–156
Chase Goff, Annapolis, Md. – 77-79–156
Andrew Crockett, Fayetteville, Ga. – 79-77–156
Austin Fox, Delmar, N.Y. – 77-80–157
Logan White, Lewisville, Texas – 79-78–157
Taylor Beckstead, Canada – 77-80–157
Thomas Pfoestl, Italy – 86-72–158
Bennett Cotten, Winnetka, Ill. – 82-76–158
TJ Shehee, Mead, Colo. – 78-80–158
Matt Wingren, Hinsdale, Ill. – 81-77–158
Ricky Costello, Homer Glen, Ill. – 84-74–158
Benjamin Pochet, Royersford, Pa. – 77-81–158
Carter Lee, Tillamook, Ore. – 78-81–159
Colt Sherrell, Maple Valley, Wash. – 81-78–159
Luke Kluver, Norfolk, Neb. – 77-82–159
Trueman Park, Chandler, Ariz. – 78-81–159
Matt Hopley, Canada – 73-87–160
Ryan Lee, Norwood, N.J. – 80-80–160
Jack Glenn, Stillwater, Okla. – 77-83–160
Lane Wallace, Yukon, Okla. – 79-81–160
Berk Harvey, San Jose, Calif. – 79-82–161
Tyler Jones, Westerville, Ohio – 77-84–161
Patrick Ryan, Maplewood, N.J. – 83-78–161
Connery Meyer, Marietta, Ga. – 80-82–162
Hayden Blair, Tullahoma, Tenn. – 83-79–162
Zachary Shallat, Dix Hills, N.Y. – 86-77–163
Joey Geary, Phoenix, Ariz. – 80-84–164
Robert Ghirardini, Atlanta, Ga. – 82-82–164
Matt Dickson, Washingtonville, N.Y. – 81-83–164
Isley McClure, Waynesville, N.C. – 82-83–165
Nick Willis, Spartanburg, S.C. – 81-84–165
Griffin Long, Davis, Calif. – 84-82–166
Jacob Luett, Clinton, Iowa – 81-86–167
Jacob Calamaro, Newtown Square, Pa. – 89-78–167
Adam Rossi, Jefferson Hills, Pa. – 83-85–168
Charles Reiter, Palm Desert, Calif. – 80-88–168

ANDOVER, Kan. – Pairings for Wednesday’s first round of match play at the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, played at 7,049-yard, par-71 Flint Hills National Golf Club.

Round of 64
(Upper Bracket)
8 a.m. – Austin Eckroat, Edmond, Okla. (132) vs. Skyler Eubank, Meridian, Idaho (148)
8:10 a.m. – Andrew Kozan, West Palm Beach, Fla. (143) vs. Yuki Moriyama, Japan (143)
8:20 a.m. – Teddy Tetak, Slovakia (139) vs. Ryan Gerard, Raleigh, N.C. (145)
8:30 a.m. – Won Jun Lee, Republic of Korea (140) vs. Davis Bryant, Aurora, Colo. (145)
8:40 a.m. – Matthew Wolff, Agoura Hills, Calif. (136) vs. Remington Hirano, Honolulu, Hawaii (146)
8:50 a.m. – Andrew O’Leary, Norfolk, Mass. (142) vs. Christian Salzer, Sumter, S.C. (144)
9 a.m. – Logan McAllister, Oklahoma City, Okla. (137) vs. Kaiwen Liu, People’s Republic of China (146)
9:10 a.m. – Akshay Bhatia, Wake Forest, N.C. (141) vs. Parker Coody, Plano, Texas (144)
9:20 a.m. – John Pak, Scotch Plains, N.J. (135) vs. Angelo Giantsopoulos, Canada (147)
9:30 a.m. – Wil Gibson, Jonesboro, Ark. (143) vs. Garrick Higgo, South Africa (143)
9:40 a.m. – Cole Hammer, Houston, Texas  (138) vs. George McNeely, Carmel, Calif. (145)
9:50 a.m. – Frankie Capan, North Oaks, Minn. (141) vs. Turk Pettit, Auburn, Ala. (144)
10 a.m. – Joshua Armstrong, Australia (135) vs. Colin Bowles, Albany, Ga. (147)
10:10 a.m. – Cameron Sisk, El Cajon, Calif. (142) vs. Trent Phillips, Spartanburg, S.C. (143)
10:20 a.m. – Aman Gupta, Charlotte, N.C. (138) vs. James Song, Canada (146)
10:30 a.m. – Jackson Suber, Tampa, Fla. (141) vs. Jackson Solem, Longmont, Colo. (144)
(Lower Bracket)
10:40 a.m. – Brandon Mancheno, Jacksonville, Fla. (134) vs. Alvin Kwak, Mukilteo, Wash. (147)
10:50 a.m. – Eddy Lai, San Jose, Calif. (143) vs. Kaito Onishi, Japan (143)
11:00 a.m. – Wells Padgett, Wichita, Kan. (139) vs. Ryan Smith, Carlsbad, Calif. (145)
11:10 a.m. – Aaron Chen, Fremont, Calif. (140) vs. Cameron John, Australia (145)
11:20 a.m. – Min Woo Lee, Australia (136) vs. Noah Norton, Chico, Calif. (146)
11:30 a.m. – Jake Beber-Frankel, Miami, Fla. (142) vs. Noah Woolsey, Pleasanton, Calif. (144)
11:40 a.m. – Mac Meissner, San Antonio, Texas (137) vs. David Morgan, Naples, Fla. (146)
11:50 a.m. – Rayhan Thomas, India (141) vs. Cecil Wegener, Ridgeland, Miss. (144)
Noon – Cole Ponich, Salt Lake City, Utah (134) vs. Alex Jamieson, Duxbury, Mass. (147)
12:10 p.m. – Cooper Parks, Campbellsville, Ky. (143) vs. Sean Maruyama, Encino, Calif. (143)
12:20 p.m. – Joe Highsmith, Lakewood, Wash. (138) vs. Garrett Barber, West Palm Beach, Fla. (145)
12:30 p.m. – Noah Goodwin, Corinth, Texas (141) vs. Dylan Fritz, Las Vegas, Nev. (144)
12:40 p.m. – Eugene Hong, Orlando, Fla. (135) vs. Ryan Hall, Knoxville, Tenn. (147)
12:50 p.m. – Ricky Castillo, Yorba Linda, Calif. (142) vs. Brandon Gillis, Nashua, N.H. (143)
1 p.m. – Davis Shore, Knoxville, Tenn. (137) vs. Jonathan Wijono, Indonesia (146)
1:10 p.m. – Joseph Pagdin, England (141) vs. Peter Fountain, Raleigh, N.C. (144)

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