Sophomore Blair Hamilton is the first Cougar to advance to Match Play at the U.S. Amateur Championship since 2000.
Aug 13, 2013
BROOKLINE, Mass. - University of Houston sophomore Blair Hamilton advanced to Match Play at the U.S. Amateur Championship on Tuesday evening after finishing the first two rounds of stroke in a tie for 38th at 3-over-par 143.
Hamilton now will face No. 16 seed Richy Werenski at 7:10 a.m. (CDT), Wednesday. Werenski, who will be a senior at Georgia Tech in the fall, tied for ninth after stroke play with a score of 139.
With a win Wednesday, Hamilton advances to the Round of 32 and will meet the winner of No. 17 seed Nathan Holman (Australia)-No. 48 seed Andrew Price (Lake Bluff, Ill.) match at 6:40 a.m. (CDT) Thursday.
Hamilton became the first Cougar since Andy Sanders and B.J. Staten - both in 2000 - to advance to match play at the U.S. Amateur Championship. He will be looking to become the first Cougar to win in match play since Sanders advanced to the quarterfinals of the 1999 Championship.
Less than 24 hours after completing his first round at Charles River Country Club, Hamilton and Houston associate head coach Chris Hill - who is serving as Hamilton's caddy this week - teed off at the history Country Club.
After bogeying the ninth hole to start his round, the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, native posted par on his next two holes before draining a birdie on the 605-yard, par-5 12th hole.
From there, Hamilton hit a tough stretch, going bogey-par-bogey-double bogey on his next four holes. Despite slipping a bit on the leaderboard, he regained his composure and nailed a birdie on the 432-yard, par-4 18th hole.
"In every round of golf, you go through a stretch where stuff happens. What defines you as a golfer is how you handle that adversity and bounce back," Hamilton said. "I had a good game plan and stuck to it. I just trusted my game plan and executed."
"There was a tough stretch of seven holes. Blair did a good job of maintaining his perspective during that stretch," Hill said. "He could easily have lost it, but he showed his maturity."
Making the turn, Hamilton converted pars on each of first four holes before suffering a bogey on the par-4 fifth hole. However, he rallied again with a birdie on the very next hole and added two more pars to cap his round.
From there, the two Cougars returned to their hotel to clean up and take a nap. After eating lunch, they enjoyed the sights of downtown Boston with Hamilton's father , Thom, who made the trip from Canada.
After that, all Hamilton and Hill could do was wait and watch the leaderboard.
With the start of match play Wednesday, television coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship also begins. The first three days of match play will be show on the Golf Channel with the final two days slated for NBC.
Date Time (CT) Network Program Aug. 14 (Wednesday) 3-5 p.m. Golf Channel First Round Matches Aug. 15 (Thursday) 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Golf Channel Second Round Matches Aug. 16 (Friday) 8-10 p.m. Golf Channel Quarterfinal Matches Aug. 17 (Saturday) 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. NBC Semifinal Matches Aug. 18 (Sunday) 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. NBC Championship Match
Fans can keep up with Hamilton and Hill throughout the week on their blog at UHCougars.com. Fans can read daily recaps from the Cougar duo with other news and notes at UHCougars.com/BlairsBlog.
ABOUT Blair Hamilton
A year ago, Hamilton competed in four tournaments during his first collegiate season. He fired a career-low 70 three times and posted a pair of top-10 finishes, including a ninth-place showing at the HBU Husky Invitational in late October.
He joined the Cougars after an award-winning junior career. He competed as a member of the Development Squad by Golf Canada during the summer of 2012 and tied for 12th at the Canadian Amateur Championship with a score of 212.
HOUSTON HISTORY AT THE U.S. AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Hamilton became the first Cougar since Ricky Romano in 2007 to compete at the U.S. Amateur Championship. The Cougars have boasted several competitors at this prestigious event, including Romano (2007, 2005), Jordan Irwin (2006), Ben Moser (2006), Jordan Hasbrouck (2005), Mike Booker (2004), director of golf Jonathan Dismuke, who competed out of Auburn in 2004, Andy Sanders (1999), John Mahaffey (1969) and Keith Fergus, who finished second at the 1975 event.