MAMARONECK – Clearly, it was not an easy fate to accept.
Cameron Young and Paul McBride have undoubtedly had better days on the golf course. They did not sink a lot of putts Monday at Winged Foot, but the Wake Forest teammates somehow combined to make four birdies and one eagle in the Round of 32 at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
It wasn’t enough.
Patrick Christovich and Garrett Rank rolled in five consecutive birdies late in the match and closed out a 2-and-1 victory with a rare up-and-down par on the 17th.
“I’m not sure those guys are your normal mid-ams,” Young said.
Christovich, 37, is a realtor from New Orleans who’s played in 10 previous USGA events. Rank, 28, is an NHL/AHL referee with 11 USGA appearances who finished runner-up at the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur.
They didn’t miss a shot until the final hole of the match.
“Obviously there’s more of them and fewer of us,” Rank said of the top college players that often steal the spotlight. “But I’m not intimidated by any of those guys and I definitely know that Patrick’s not.”
Young and McBride had some early chances, but they were not making putts. It was an issue for them in stroke play, too. McBride finally got the match back to square when he made a short birdie at No. 9.
And then came a ridiculous swing.
Young took advantage of a forward tee placement, cranking a 3-wood some 300 yards onto the 10th green.
“He killed that thing,” Rank said in disbelief.
The 19-year-old Scarborough resident was pin high, six feet away.
“It was 299 yards,” Young said. “The wind was kind of switching on us. I had driver out. And it just kind of switched from across to straight down. It was such a hard 3-wood. It was probably the best swing I’ve made in a year. I just hit a real high, hard draw and it came out perfect.”
He made the eagle, giving the college teammates a 1-up lead, but the momentum was short-lived.
“And then we both missed 6-footers at the 11th,” McBride said.
The match pivoted quickly.
“Garrett made a great putt on 12, another great putt on 13, a great putt on 14,” Christovich said. “The ball just finally started falling. I think we had a lot of chances all day, kept putting it close, kept putting it close. Nothing would go in. Finally, three in a row, boom, boom, boom.”
All told, they made five birdies in a row and won three straight holes. The 18-footer on the 13th, a devilish par 3, was brilliant.
“I actually got really lucky,” Ranks said. “Cam was putting from 12 feet further away from me, but on the same line, and I saw his ball break like, honestly, seven feet. Mine trickled into the hole probably at 2 o’clock, like it was behind the hole and fell backwards into the hole.”
McBride and Young had a few good looks at birdie on the way in, but the frustration built with each miss. Both sides birdied the 16th, so it was win or go home when they got to the 17th, a 206-yard par 3.
It was the first time all day Christovich and Rank missed, one left and one right.
Young landed a 6-iron with six feet of the hole.
“It looked straight up the hill,” he said of the birdie try. “I knew I had to make it so I could hit it, and I just hit it right in the middle like I meant to and it broke a hair left on me. I hit a good putt, so there’s not much else I could do.”
Rank got up and down from a sticky lie in the rough, closing out the match from four feet.
“I was going to play it dead straight and I think (Young) kind of did, too,” Rank said. “Mine just caught the left side. We had the ball falling in today and unfortunately they didn’t.”
So now it’s off to Oregon where McBride and Young will catch up with their Wake Forest teammates on Wednesday or Thursday to get ready for the NCAAs at Eugene Country Club.
“I think it was really good prep, actually, just the way the golf course is set up and the fact that every few holes you have to step up and you have to hit one,” Young said of his Four-Ball experience. “There’s no real comfortable ones out there, so having to hit some shots and trust yourself in these tough conditions is really helpful going forward.”
Rank and Christovich will attempt to keep the putters warm and take on Ted Gray and Travis Milleman on Tuesday in the Round of 16.
U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship
Winged Foot East
Round of 32
Brandon Matthews, Dupont, Pa. & Patrick Ross, Dunmore, Pa. d. Sachin Kumar, Trinidad & Tobago & Alberto Martinez, Weston, Fla. 4 and 3; Clark Engle, Springfield, Ohio & Will Grimmer, Cincinnati, Ohio d. Mason Glinski, Oxnard, Calif. & Jacob Johnson, Ventura, Calif., 2 and 1; Scott Shingler, Haymarket, Va. & Justin Young, Roanoke, Va. d. Robert Crockett II, Louisville, Ky. & Andy Roberts, Owensboro, Ky., 3 and 2; Benjamin Baxter, Highland Park, Texas & Andrew Buchanan, Los Altos, Calif. d. Mark Dupont, Santa Ana, Calif. & Scott Gibson, Long Beach, Calif., 2 and 1; Patrick Christovich, New Orleans, La. & Garrett Rank, Canada d. Paul McBride, Republic of Ireland & Cameron Young, Scarborough, 2 and 1; Ted Gray, Phoenix, Ariz. & Travis Milleman, Phoenix, Ariz. d. Corey Eddings, Roseville, Calif. & Austin Spicer, Gresham, Ore., 3 and 1; Andrew Whalen, Ephrata, Wash. & Dylan Wu, Medford, Ore. d. Jon Brown, Clive, Iowa & Jon Olson, Ankeny, Iowa 4 and 3; David Kocher, Charlotte, N.C. & Connor Tendall, North Potomac, Md. d. Brandon Laird, Biloxi, Miss. & Josh Lampley, Gulfport, Miss., 21 holes.
Scott Harvey, Greensboro, N.C. & Todd Mitchell, Bloomington, Ill. d. Sean Maruyama, Los Angeles, Calif. & Clay Seeber, Newport Beach, Calif., 2 up; Otto Black, Pinckney, Mich. & Colin Joseph, Loveland, Ohio d. Dan Crockett, Franklin, Tenn. & Parker Smith, Morristown, Tenn., 2 and 1; Alex Buecking, Columbine Valley, Colo. & Jason Enloe, Dallas, Texas d. Brent Roof, Columbia, S.C. & Paul Tucker, Waxhaw, N.C., 3 and 2; Frankie Capan, North Oaks, Minn. & Shuai Ming Wong, Ppls Repl. of China d. Rob Garland, Nashville, Tenn. & Charles Keene, Clarksville, Tenn., 19 holes; Drew Allenspach, Louisville, Ky. & Matthew Van Zandt, Houston, Texas d. Tom Hart, Denver, Colo. & Jonathan Marsico, Denver, Colo., 5 and 4; Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa. & Todd White, Spartanburg, S.C. def. Matthew Finger, Woolwich Township, N.J. & Michael Korcuba, Winslow Township, N.J., 6 and 5; Brandon Cigna, Arlington, Va. & Ben Warnquist, Olney, Md. d. Nick Barrett, Marriottsville, Md. & Connor Flach, Ellicott City, Md., 2 up; Braden Baer, Westminster, Colo. & Cole Nygren, Longmont, Calif. d. Andrew Orischak, Hilton Head Island, S.C. & Doc Redman, Raleigh, N.C., 2 and 1.
Schedule for Round of 16
7 a.m. – Brandon Matthews, Dupont, Pa. & Patrick Ross, Dunmore, Pa. vs. Clark Engle, Springfield, Ohio & Will Grimmer, Cincinnati, Ohio
7:12 a.m. – Scott Shingler, Haymarket, Va. & Justin Young, Roanoke, Va. vs. Benjamin Baxter, Highland Park, Texas & Andrew Buchanan, Los Altos, Calif.
7:24 a.m. – Patrick Christovich, New Orleans, La. & Garrett Rank, Canada vs. Ted Gray, Phoenix, Ariz. & Travis Milleman, Phoenix, Ariz.
7:36 a.m. – Andrew Whalen, Ephrata, Wash. & Dylan Wu, Medford, Ore. vs. David Kocher, Charlotte, N.C. & Connor Tendall, North Potomac, Md.
7:48 a.m. – Scott Harvey, Greensboro, N.C. & Todd Mitchell, Bloomington, Ill. vs. Otto Black, Pinckney, Mich. & Colin Joseph, Loveland, Ohio
8 a.m. – Alex Buecking, Columbine Valley, Colo. & Jason Enloe, Dallas, Texas vs. Frankie Capan, North Oaks, Minn. & Shuai Ming Wong, Ppls Repl. of China
8:12 a.m. – Drew Allenspach, Louisville, Ky. & Matthew Van Zandt, Houston, Texas vs. Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, Pa. & Todd White, Spartanburg, S.C.
8:24 a.m. – Brandon Cigna, Arlington, Va. & Ben Warnquist, Olney, Md. vs. Braden Baer, Westminster, Colo. & Cole Nygren, Longmont, Calif.
(Round of 16 winners advance to the quarterfinal round of match play on Tuesday, beginning at 1 p.m.)