Medalist moves on to Round of 32 at U.S. Amateur


BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Qualifying medalist Alex Smalley rallied to beat Scott Harvey, 2 and 1, on Wednesday in the first round of the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills.

Smalley, the Duke sophomore from Wake Forest, N.C., finished off Harvey with a half for par on the par-3 17th on the Donald Ross-designed South Course that Ben Hogan dubbed the ''The Monster'' in his 1951 U.S. Open victory.

''I played with Scott earlier this summer at the North Carolina Am, so I'm familiar with him,'' Smalley said. ''I knew it was going to be a tough day, and it was. I'm just glad I got out of there with the win.''

Smalley pulled even with the 38-year-old Harvey with a birdie on the par-4 11th and won the par-4 14th and 16th with pars in the match that was interrupted for more than an hour because of rain.

''It's basically another tournament, a brand-new tournament,'' Smalley said. ''It's a new day. Seeds don't really matter in match play. It was nice getting medalist. It was an honor, but I just had to start right all over again.''

Harvey, from Greensboro, N.C., got the last of the 64 match-play spots Wednesday morning, playing seven extra holes in a 23-man playoff for eight positions.

''I was OK for a couple holes, and then it's like it just caught right back up to me,'' Harvey said. ''It's just the longest - one of the longest days - on the golf course I've ever had.''

Smalley will face Illinois junior Dylan Meyer in the second round. Meyer, from Evansville, Ind., beat Scotland's Connor Syme, 2 up.

Second-seeded Dawson Armstrong, a Lipscomb junior from Brentwood, Tenn., also advanced, beating England's Bradley Moore, 1 up. Armstrong won the 17th with a par and ended it with a bogey halve on the par-4 18th.

''I now know that not only can I play well in match play, I can play well in match play under stressful situations,'' Armstrong said. ''Even when my game isn't at its best, I feel like I can do whatever it takes to make sure I get through.''

British Amateur champion Scott Gregory of England had the most-lopsided victory, routing Raymond Knoll of Naperville, Ill., 7 and 5. Gregory is trying to become the first player to sweep the British and U.S. Amateur titles since Bob Dickson in 1967.

In the only match to go to extra holes, Alabama sophomore Davis Riley of Hattiesburg, Miss., beat high school senior Matthew Wolff of Agoura Hills, Calif., with a par on the 19th.

''I've played a lot of match play and anything can happen,'' Riley said. ''You never have a match won, no matter how many up you are. So, I just told myself to stick to my routine.''

Three LSU players advanced. Tigers senior Brandon Pierce of Covington, La., edged Austria's Matthias Schwab, 1 up; sophomore Sam Burns of Shreveport, La., topped Colombia's Santiago Gomez, 3 and 1; and sophomore Luis Gagne of Orlando, Fla., beat Paul Pastore of Greenwich, Conn., 5 and 3.

Oklahoma sophomore Brad Dalke of Norman, Okla., knocked off Wake Forest junior William Zalatoris of Plano, Texas, 1 up.

Maverick McNealy, the Stanford senior ranked No. 1 in the world amateur ranking, failed to advance to match play. He was eliminated in the morning in the playoff for the final spots.