Wollman Wins First-Round Match
WAILUA, Hawaii (AP) _ Defending champion Chris Wollman of Parma, Ohio, and last year’s runnerup, Bill Camping of Phoenix, were among the 32 players who advanced Wednesday to the second round of match play in the 71st U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
After two qualifying rounds of stroke play, Wollman defeated William Sprague of Gainesville, Fla., 5 and 4, in one of the day’s shorter matches. Meanwhile, Camping eliminated penalty-plagued Jason Allen of Pueblo, Colo., 2-up. Allen was penalized for slow play on Monday and was assessed a hole on Wednesday when he used one of Camping’s clubs.
If Wollman and Camping win their next matches, they’ll meet in Friday’s quarterfinals at the Wailua Golf Course on Kauai island.
Medalist Taggart Ridings of Tulsa, Okla., also advanced to the round of 32, struggling past Malcolm Smith of Huntington, N.Y., 2 and 1.
Ridings, who had a qualifying stroke-play total of 8-under-par 136, rolled in putts of 20 feet on the 12th hole and 15 feet at the 17th to end the match.
One former Publinx champion was bounced. Lloyd Taylor of Asheville, N.C., turned back Guy Yamamoto, a Kauai native who won in 1994, 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.
Ryan Nietfeldt of Grand Island, Neb., upset 1995 Walker Cup member Chris Riley of Las Vegas, 2 and 1. Riley, the 1994 Publinx runner-up who has 13 USGA championships in his portfolio, ran into some bad luck on the last hole when his second shot hit the flag and bounced back six feet away. 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 a 6 and 5 victory over Frank Acker of Las Vegas. After being down two holes, he won nine of the next 10 holes.
The day’s longest matches went three extra holes. Jay Kurisu of Wailuku, Maui, defeated Bill Thompson of Minneapolis, and Justin Peters of Pembroke, Mass., edged Jay Cason of Brunswick, Ga.
The field of 32 players will be reduced to 16 Thursday morning and to eight in the afternoon. Two more 18-hole rounds are scheduled Friday to set the stage for Saturday’s 36-hole final.