For the fourth time in five years, the Western Amateur medalist lost in the first round of match play.
Patrick Rodgers of Stanford, who led qualifiers with a record total of 18-under 270, fell on Saturday to 16th-seeded Sean Dale, a recent graduate of North Florida, 2 up.
“I played great in stroke play and got rewarded [to play against] … probably the best player in the field,” Rodgers said, referring to his recent Palmer Cup teammate. “I know [Dale] is a great player. He has a great track record…You have to expect to play great players all the way. You have to play well and beat great players, and I just didn’t do that today.”
Rodgers’ elimination means the five top-ranked players in the field are gone: No. 1 Cory Whitsett, No. 2 Michael Kim, No. 3 Justin Thomas – three of Rodgers’ teammates at the upcoming Walker Cup – No. 4 Bobby Wyatt, and the fifth-ranked Rodgers.
Rodgers also lost in the first round of match play at the 2011 Western Amateur.
Meanwhile at The Alotian Club in Roland, Ark., one of Walker Cup captain Jim Holtgrieve’s potential remaining picks – Jordan Niebrugge – won his opening match, 4 and 3, against his Oklahoma State teammate Talor Gooch.
Niebrugge is going for his third victory in the last three weeks, adding to wins in the U.S. Public Links and the Wisconsin State Amateur.
In other matches, Georgia Tech lefty Seth Reeves made a hole-in-one on the way to defeating Jonathan Garrick, 2 and 1. David Snyder, the youngest player in the field at 15, defeated Arkansas sophomore Taylor Moore, 5 and 3.
Moore’s teammate, senior Sebastian Cappelen, came back from a two-hole deficit against 17-year-old Robby Shelton IV to extend the match and win on the second extra hole.
Texas A&M junior Tyler Dunlap defeated University of San Francisco senior Cory McElyea in 20 holes.
In a battle of Texas Longhorns, Kramer Hickok defeated Beau Hossler, 2 and 1. Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz, who was runner-up to Rodgers in stroke play, defeated Georgia junior Keith Mitchell, 2 and 1.