(Image courtesy dogelnews.com, tournament information courtesy usga.org)
Note: Ian Poulter, in the image above is not a Buckeye. But, he does express things nicely…
Will Grimmer, Caleb Ramirez and Daniel Wetterich were in Monterrey Peninsula for the U.S. Amateur. The championship was played over two courses; Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill.
The way this works is the golfers compete in 36 holes of stroke play. The low 64 scores advance to the match play stage of the championship. The fact that as I write this, evening of August 15th, the Championship is still going on and I refer to BuckeyeGolf in the past tense should be a hint on how things went for our intrepid trio.
Stroke Play Qualifier
Caleb Ramirez began Monday play at Pebble Beach. Through four holes, he was +1. Caleb lit things up over the next four holes with an eagle, two birdies and a par. He closed with a bogey on the long 522 yard par 4 9th to make the turn at 34 (-1). (A 522 yard par-4? Seriously?)
Caleb put together a birdie, a bogey and seven pars for a steady back nine of 36 (E); He ended the first day at 72 (+1).
Caleb’s second round began on the back nine of Spyglass Hill. He was even par through seven holes, then finished birdie-birdie for a nine of 34 (-2). Caleb was -1 through four holes on the back nine.He ran into trouble with a triple bogey on the par-3 5th hole but in the scheme of tings it probably didn’t matter.
A back nine of 38 (+2) gave him a round of 72 (E). This placed Caleb in T-24th, well inside the top 64.
Will Grimmer also began play at Pebble Beach. Will was +1 through six holes, then birdied #7 to get back to Even par. Which lasted about 10 minutes, due to a double bogey on the par-4 8th hole. A closing par got Will to the turn at 37 (+2).
A solidly played back nine of 36 (E) was comprised of a birdie, a bogey and seven pars. He finished the day at 73 (+2).
Like Caleb, Will began Day 2 on the back nine at Spyglass Hill. Will began the day about as good as you can imagine – three consecutive birdies. A bogey on the par-3 15th was his only blemish as Will made the turn at 34 (-2).
Will played the back nine in 38 (+2) with two bogeys and seven pars. He finished qualification in T-36th position. On to match play.
Daniel Wetterich didn’t have his best stuff on Monday and Tuesday. In Monday’s opening round at Spyglass, Daniel stated bogey-bogey, stableized his nine with a string a par and made the turn at 38 (+3). Daniel had 2 birdies on the back nine, but also double-bogeyed both par-3s. His back nine of 39 gave him a 78 (+6).
On Tuesday, Daniel switched to Pebble Beach. Beginning his round on the back nine, Daniel was -1 through three holes. Four bogeys over the next five holes bumped him to +3 for the day. A birdie on his 9th hole got Daniel to 38 (+2) at the turn. On his back nine, Daniel was +4 through six holes, but did close with three consecutive pars for a 39 (+4) and a round of 77 (+6). That freed up Daniel to do some sightseeing on the Peninsula for the balance of the week.
On to the match play portion…
The match play sessions were played at Pebble Beach.
As the #24 seed, Caleb faced the #41 seed, Devon Bling of Ridgecrest, CA.
Devon won two of the first four holes to go 2-up. Caleb birdied the par-5 6th to get to 1-down. Matching pars on #7 and #8 had Caleb 1-down through eight holes. (Not an ideal situation, but not bad, either…)
Unfortunately, things went bad for Caleb over the next four holes. Caleb played them in +3 while Devon played them in -2, resulting in Caleb losing four consecutive holes. He was now 5-down with 6 holes to play. (Uh-oh)
Caleb won the 13th hole to pick up a hole, but Devon won the 14th hole to close out the match 5&4.
… #36 seed Will Grimmer played #29 seed Isaiah Salinda of South San Francisco, CA.
The match began well enough – through thee holes, matching pars had the match All Square (A/S).
Unfortunately, the “A game” was not in Will’s bag. He bogeyed six of the next nines holes, losing all of them. Teeing off on #13, Isaiah was dormie-6 (up 6 with 6 to play). This was great for Isaiah, terrible for Will. Both players parred the 13th to close out the match 6&5.
Aside from the shorter than hoped participation in the U.S. Open, this still was a good week for Caleb, Will and Daniel. Obviously, first, they managed to qualify for the Amateur Championship. This is a pretty big deal and quite an accomplishment.
I’ve never played Pebble Beach, but I have played Spyglass Hill. It has been several decades ago, but if I recall, the scenery and course layout are absolutely breathtaking. The other thing I recall is that I had an existential experience/crisis when I tried to hit a wedge out of the ice plant.
OSUMG begins their Fall Season at the Northern Intercollegiate the weekend of September 15-16. That also happens to be the same weekend that OSUWG begins their season at the East & West Match Play Championships.