Pan takes U.S. Amateur lead, Ogden's Blair sitting at fifth

Aug 14 2012 - 10:00pm

Images

(JOHN MUMMERT/The Associated Press)
Zac Blair, of Ogden, plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during the second round of stroke play at the U.S. Amateur golf championship in Cherry Hills Village, Colo., on Tuesday.
(JOHN MUMMERT/The Associated Press)
Zac Blair, of Ogden, plays his tee shot on the 17th hole during the second round of stroke play at the U.S. Amateur golf championship in Cherry Hills Village, Colo., on Tuesday.

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Cheng-Tsung Pan of Taiwan shot a 5-under 65 Tuesday to put himself in position for a top seed in match play at the U.S. Amateur championship at Cherry Hills.

Pan, who plays at the University of Washington, finished two days of stroke play qualifying over the CommonGround and Cherry Hill courses at 7 under. That tied him with Bobby Osberg after the second and final qualifying round.

First-round leader Bobby Wyatt, who teed off later Tuesday, followed up his 64 with a 68 to take medalist honors at 9 under.

The preliminary rounds whittled the field of 312 golfers to 64 for match play, which commences today on the 7,409-yard, par-71 course at Cherry Hills Country Club.

Ogden's Zac Blair sits fifth overall after a solid 71 on the second round. After and opening 65, the former Fremont High and current BYU golfer is at 5 under.

Devon Purser, Blair's BYU teammate, shot a 74 and was among a huge group tied at 2 over par. Purser, a former Syracuse High standout, finds himself in a 17-man playoff for the final 14 berths in match play. The playoff will begin at 7 a.m. at Cherry Hills.

University of Utah golfer Gentry Hicks shot 73 in his second round and failed to advance.

Pan began the day tied for 19th after a 69 at Cherry Hills on the first day of qualifying. He moved up 18 spots with his standout performance at the companion course at CommonGround.

"I'm hitting the ball great, driving well," Pan said. "Hitting irons well, and my long game is always good. I executed every shot well."

Meanwhile, Gary Nicklaus, the 43-year-old son of Jack Nicklaus and one of the oldest competitors in the amateur, shot a 74 at Cherry Hills for a two-day score of 4-over 145, leaving him in a tie for 117th place and out of match play midway through the final round of qualifying.

Nicklaus, a former PGA tour pro who was reinstated as an amateur in 2007, had qualified for the Cherry Hills event after missing the 1990 event at the same course because of a heart ailment. He was an up-and-coming 20-year-old when he came down with pericarditis on the eve of the 1990 amateur, forcing him to undergo a week of treatment in the hospital instead of competing on the golf course.

Also advancing to match play at 3-under-par 138 were two 2011 USA Walker Cup Team members: Chris Williams, 21, of Moscow, Idaho, who won the 2012 Western Amateur and is ranked No. 1 in the world, and Jordan Spieth, 19, of Dallas, the low amateur at the 2012 U.S. Open, who is ranked No. 3 in the world by the World Amateur Golf Ranking that is jointly administered by The R&A and the USGA.

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