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Co-Medalists Advance in U.S. Amateur
On a blustery day at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., co-medalists Neil Raymond of England and Brady Watt of Australia both moved on from the Round of 64.
Raymond, who's trying to become the first Englishman to win the U.S. Amateur since Harold Hilton in 1911, got past Jason Anthony of Fairfeld, Calif., 1-up, and Brady beat Sean Walsh of Keller, Texas, 5 and 3. Raymond and Brady tied for medalist honors after both finished the first 36 holes in 6-under 134.
"I had a pretty poor start today, actually," said Raymond, who won the 2013 St. Andrews Links Trophy at the Old Course. "I bogeyed the first two holes and after that I knew it was going to be a pretty long day.
"I think it being windy actually played to my benefit a little bit. Obviously, playing in GB&I the majority of the year it's windy every day. I felt comfortable out there. Getting through those first couple of holes was tough but after that, I felt pretty good, and I played a really nice back nine."
"I hit it quite good off the tee," said Watt, who is No. 9 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. "I was in the fairway much of the day and if I was in the rough, I had a pretty good lie. I hit a ton of greens."
Out of the five players named to the 10-man, 2013 Walker Cup team, Patrick Rodgers, was the only one who made it to match play. Max Homa, Michael Kim, Justin Thomas and Cory Whitsett failed to make the cut in stroke play.
Rodgers, who attends Stanford and managed to emerge from a 17-man playoff Tuesday to qualify for match play, beat Sean Dale 3 and 2 of Jacksonville, Fla., in the first round.
"I would rather just have gotten through clean in stroke play, that would have been really nice," Rodgers told reporters. "But it's all part of this tournament. There's almost 250 players that get cut, so it's a tough cut to make and I had some adversity this week and that won't be the last time.
"It's been a crazy week for sure," Rodgers added. "Even though I was in a 17-for-15 spot, I was really motivated to get through that playoff and do the best I can to make par on 14, and bogey ended up being good enough. So, it refocused me a little bit and got me into the match-play mindset where you've got to play well or you're going home."
The 21-year-old Avon, Ind., will face England's Greg Eason in the second round. Eason beat 2012 runner-up Michael Weaver of Fresno, Calif., 3 and 2.
"It was just so hard to hit the fairway with the big crosswinds," Eason said. "The rough around here is just so penal. It's difficult to manage. Luckily, I was able to hack it out a few times."
Also advancing are Cal's Brandon Hagy, who recorded a 19-hole victory over Portugal's Ricardo Gouveia - a 2012 U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist, and recently crowned U.S. Junior Amateur champion Scott Scheffler of Dallas, who needed 20 holes to vanquish Stewart Jolly of Birmingham, Ala.
Jordan Niebrugge, the Oklahoma State player from Mequon, Wis., who recently won both the U.S. Amateur Public Links and Western Amateur, finally lost, falling 1-up to Seth Reeves of Duluth, Ga., in a tight match. Also eliminated was 2011 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Team member Rhys Pugh, 19, of Wales.
For complete scoring details, visit http://www.usga.org/ChampEventScore.aspx?id=17179869326&year=2013&type=reversetree.