MIDWAY -- While the first goal of more than 150 golfers teeing off Monday and Tuesday in the the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship was to survive at Soldier Hollow Golf Course, the fortunate 64 who advanced to the match play portion of the tournament are just getting going.
Playing in hot conditions on the 6,670-yard Soldier Hollow Gold Course, three golfers with local ties will all find out how strong they are.
BYU golfers Zachary Blair and Justin Keiley and Utahn Dan Horner all shot 140 over the 36-hole stroke play portion of the tournament, finishing 10th.
San Diego's James Erkenbeck shot 68-67--165 to finish at 7-under par to lead the field. Talor Gooch shot an impressive 64 to push to the top of the leaderboard for much of the day befire Ercenbeck topped him by a shot. T.J Vogel of Florida also shot 166.
"It was one of those days where everything was on," said Gooch, a rising junior at Oklahoma State, of his eight-birdie round.
Today, golfers play the first round of match play, followed by two rounds on Thursday and Friday. The 36-hole final is scheduled for Saturday.
So to advance, golfers will be playing 136 holes over the next four days.
Blair, who shot 71-69, and Keiley, who shot 69-71, are BYU teammates. Blair will tee off at 8:20 a.m. against Byron Meth of San Diego in the top half of the bracket.
In the bottom half, Keiley will play Ryan Werre of Canada at 12:20 p.m. Horner will meet Jacob Krapp of California at 11:40 a.m. Weber State golfer Ty Travis finished at 6-over par, two shots out of the top 64.
Top 25 from Web.com Tour assured of PGA card
The top 25 players from the Web.com Tour are assured of getting PGA Tour cards under a new system announced Tuesday that does away with Q-school being a direct path to the big leagues.
More than six months of discussions ended with what the tour felt was the most simple plan for awarding PGA Tour cards.
Starting in September 2013, the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour and the top 75 players who do not qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs -- those who are No. 126 through No. 200 in the FedEx Cup standings -- will compete in three $1 million tournaments known as "The Finals."
All players in the Finals will start from scratch, and 50 cards will be awarded based on the Finals money list. However, the top 25 from the Web.com Tour regular season already will be assured of getting PGA cards, even if they fall out of the top 50 on the Finals money list. They would play only for position going into the 2013-14 season, which would start in October.
The player who leads the Web.com Tour money list in the regular season, and the player who wins the Finals money list, will be exempt into The Players Championship and have the same status as a PGA Tour player who kept his card the previous year.