WAILUA, Hawaii (AP) _ Defending champion Chris Wollman of Parma, Ohio, and runner-up Bill Camping of Phoenix are on a collision course again in the 71st U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
This time, though, it won’t be in the final.
Wollman blitzed William Sprague of Gainesville, Fla., 5 and 4, and Camping went 2-up to eliminate penalty-plagued Jason Allen of Pueblo, Colo., in the first round of match play Wednesday at the Wailua Golf Course on Kauai island.
Both winners are in the same bracket and, if they win their next two matches, they’ll meet in Friday’s quarterfinals.
But to get there, Wollman admitted a lot of luck will be involved.
``You can’t expect to win (five or more straight matches) without some luck,″ the Ohio State senior said. ``You need some along the way.″
For Camping, a graduate of Northwestern Louisiana, it’s a matter of playing the golf course and an opponent _ not the entire field of 32 survivors.
``Low score or high score, everyone starts the same,″ he said. ``What I like best about match play is you always have to win your holes.″
As for Allen’s woes, in three rounds he was penalized for slow play and for using an opponent’s club.
Medalist Taggart Ridings of Tulsa, Okla., was a runaway winner in the 36-hole stroke play qualifying _ 8-under-par 136 _ but struggled in the first round of match-play.
In edging Malcolm Smith of Huntington, N.Y., 2 and 1, Ridings had to make putts of 20 feet on the 12th hole of 15 feet on the 17th to win the match.
``After I made my putt at 12, I was 2-up and I felt I had the advantage,″ Ridings said.
On the two holes, Taylor narrowly missed from 17 and 15 feet, respectively.
``I feel pretty good,″ said Ridings, who had five bogeys and no birdies. ``And lucky.″
Among the better-known players who were eliminated Wednesday were 1994 Publinx champion Guy Yamamoto of Honolulu and Chris Riley of Las Vegas, a 1995 member of the Walker Cup.
Lloyd Taylor of Asheville, N.C., knocked out Yamamoto, a Kauai native, 2 and 1.
Taylor was 2 up at the turn and increased it to three after 12. But Yamamoto birdied the next two holes to pull within one. However, he three-putted from 30 feet on the 15th to blunt his comeback effort.
``That was the big one,″ Yamamoto said.
Unheralded Ryan Nietfeldt of Grand Island, Neb., upset Riley, 2 and 1.
``I knew I was the underdog, but I really didn’t know who I was playing,″ the University of Nebraska junior said. ``So I went out and tried to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes.″
Riley, the 1994 Publinx runner-up who has won 13 USGA championships, had his second shot on the last hole hit the flag and bounced back six feet. His birdie attempt to tie then lipped out.
Ryuji Imada of Tampa, Fla., and Jeff Burns of Dallas, coasted to the easiest wins of the round, winning by 7 and 6 scores.
Imada eliminated Scott Weaver of Peru, Ind., and Burns ousted Wayne Smith of Austin, Texas.
Earl Cross Jr. of Turlock, Calif., made the day’s biggest comeback in his 6 and 5 victory over Frank Acker of Las Vegas. After being down two holes, he won nine of the next 10 holes to capture the match.
The day’s longest matches went three extra holes: Jay Kurisu of Wailuku, Hawaii, defeating Bill Thompson of Minneapolis and Justin Peters of Pembroke, Mass., edging Jay Cason of Brunswick, Ga.
The field of 32 players will be reduced to 16 this morning and to eight this afternoon, with two more 18-hole rounds scheduled for Friday to set the stage for Saturday’s 36-hole final between the survivors.