Defending champion Clay Ogden and the man he knocked off in last year's final, Martin Ureta, are both going home after stunning first-round losses at Gold Mountain Golf Club.
Ogden rallied from a four-hole deficit to defeat Ureta 1-up last year, but never brought the match to all square on the back nine before falling 2 and 1 to Jesse Schutte. The Oregon native regained a 1-up advantage after Ogden took a 6 at the par-5 11th then followed with a deuce on the par-3 12th to take control of the match.
Ureta was 2-up through 10 holes in his match before losing the 11th with a double bogey. Joseph Prince then squared the match with a birdie on the next par five, the reachable 14th hole, before making a bogey on the par-3 16th to again drop 1-down.
However, Prince's clutch birdie at the 18th hole extended the match and a par on the second extra hole, the par-4 second, gave him the victory.
Both co-medalists were winners on day one of match play, as Justin Metzger needed one extra hole to put away Jeff Berkshire, while Mitch Cohlmia downed Kevin Wentworth, 3 and 1.
On Thursday, 32 players will take the course with the dream of winning one of the USGA's oldest events. The Public Links is being held for the 81st time, with a championship list that resembles a 'Who's Who' on the links.
PGA TOUR professionals Billy Mayfair, 2004 champion Ryan Moore and last week's winner at the Western Open, Trevor Immelman, have captured the historic championship.