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Publinx Switches To Match Play

July 17, 1996

WAILUA, Hawaii (AP) _ After two rounds of stroke-play, the 71st U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship switches gears today to a match-play format.

For the record, Taggart Ridings of Tulsa, Okla., took medalist honors with an 8-under-par 136, with 1994 winner Guy Yamamoto of Honolulu and last year’s runner-up, Bill Camping, at 141.

Other high finishers included Bill Stebelton of Lithopolis, Ohio, and Chris Riley of Las Vegas at 142 with defending champion Chris Wollmann of Parma, Ohio; Scott Johnson of Kennewick, Wash., and Drew Scott of Pinehurst, N.C., at 144.

With the field reduced to 64, the players will be playing each other as well as battling the gusting winds over the 7,004-yard Wailua Municipal Golf Course on the island of Kauai.

Ridings, who came within minutes of being disqualified before starting the tournament on Monday, won’t change his strategy.

``Not at all,″ he said after his 6-under-par 66 on Tuesday. ``I’m just going to try to shoot 66 every day and play the golf course. Whoever beats the golf course more wins the match.

``I’ll still have the same game-plan for each hole, and it’s not going to change on each hole.″

Yamamoto, a Kauai native who’s played the Wailua Course countless times, said: ``Everything is back to square one. I’m going to enjoy today’s score, but tomorrow’s another day.″

Course familiarity could be a factor, but he said the oceanside layout was not a tricky course. The wind, however, could affect one’s play.

``Everyone starts even,″ is the way Camping sees the rest of the tournament. ``Low score or high score, it doesn’t make a difference.″

A national entry list of 6,200 amateurs was whittled down to 156 for the tournament, which is referred to as ``America’s blue-collar championship.″

The top 64 stroke-play players advanced to four match-play rounds with the two survivors playing 36 holes on Saturday.

The Fairfield, Conn., team of Ryuji Imada and Ernie Villalobos won the Harding Cup with a 296 total.

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