Vargas, a high school senior from Miami, Fla., easily ousted Brian Gerken of Napolean, Oh. 4-and-3, while Cassini beat Jeff Nichols by the same score.
The events defending champion was not so fortunate, however.
D.J. Trahan, of Inman, S.C., was beaten 2-up by Matt Cohn, a junior at Oklahoma. The two were A/S through 16 holes of play, but Trahan ' the No. 4 ranked player in the GolfWeek/Titleist Amateur Rankings ' double-bogeyed No. 17, while Cohn made birdie at the closing 18th to finish off the match.
In one other pairing, Ben Flam, who had been the subject of much attention all week due to his friend and disabled caddie Lee Penterman, was beaten by Allan Hill 6-and-5.
While Penterman did not carry Flams bag during the early holes Wednesday due to his condition of cerebral palsy, he stepped in during the 12th and 13th to finish off the match.
Earlier in the week, the USGA had ruled that he could not use a golf cart to assist in his caddying roles.
Results from the first round of match play at the 76th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship played at the Pecan Valley Golf Club in San Antonio, Tex.:
First Round Upper Half Results:
Nick Cassini (140) def. Jeff Nichols (151), 4-and-3
Hunter Mahan (147) def. Thomas Halla (148), 2-and-1
Andrew Sanders (145) def. Eddie Lee (149), 1-up
Adam Auger def. D J Fiese (145), 1-up
Chez Reavie (144) def. Tim Scott (151), 6-and-5
Brett Foulds (146) def. Greg Earnhardt (149), 1-up
Tom Ostasik (150) def. John Bloomfield (144), 2-and-1
Billy Dressler (146) def. Chris Campbell (149), 2-and-1
Erik Compton (142) def. William McLaughlin (151), 6-and-4
Jason Harris (147) def. Bryan Stark (148), 20 holes
Camilo Benedetti (144) def. Robert Godfrey (150), 5-and-3
Alan Hill (149) def. Ben Flam (145), 6-and-5
Jim Spagnolo (142) def. Chris Stroud (151), 19 holes
Ben Dickerson (147) def. Jon Antunes (148), 3-and-2
Matthew Kohn (150) def. David Yarnes (144), 3-and-2
William Witte (149) def. John Davis (145), 3-and-2
First Rond Lower Half Results
James Vargas (140) def. Brian Gerken (151), 4-and-3
Danny Green (147) def. Mark Strickland (148), 20 holes
J J Wall (149) def. Randy Nichols (145), 2-and-1
Erik Billinger (149) def. Jon Babich (145), 19 holes
Mark Farrell (143) def. Codie Mudd (151), 4-and-2
Jim Seki (148) def. Stan Rawl, (146) 6-and-5
Ryan Dennis (150) def. Wayne Raath (144), 2-and-1
Everett Grimes III (149) def. Joe Stansberry (146), 4-and-2
Adam Fuchs (141) def. Todd Hancock (151), 2-up
Matt Cohn (148) def. D J Trahan (147), 2-up
Michael Austin (149) def. Tom Johnson (144), 3-and-2
Jason Winter (149) def. Michael Letzig (145), 3-and-2
William Link IV (151) def. Kyle Willmann (143), 19 holes
Greg Puga (147) def. Chris Davis (148), 5-and-4
Sam Covitz (150) def. Jeff Chandler (144), 20 holes
Jason Moon (146) def. Jason Wombacher (149), 1-up
Click here for Tuesday's Results from the 76th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship
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