Stalking the fairways of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort during the 112th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship is 16-year old Dylan Wu.
After defeating Jason Calamaro in yesterday’s Round of 64, the diminutive and articulate and man-child-in-the-making Wu faced Kyle Schrader in the opening match of this morning’s Round of 32, being held on the resort’s Bandon Trails course.
Schrader, who was already making his own bid to be this championship’s Giant Killer, was the 64th (and final) seed going into match play, and he promptly defeated the Medalist and No. 1 seed, Joshua Munn of New Zealand, in yesterday’s Round of 64.
Schrader immediately jumped out to a 2-up lead on Wu, but Wu drew even when he dropped a 40-foot bomb for eagle on the par-5 ninth. When Schrader drilled a 5-iron into the wind on the par-3 17th to win the hole for a 1-up lead going into the 18th hole, it didn’t look good for Wu.
Schrader and Wu both hit their approaches to the par-4 18th to within 18 feet. Wu, putting first, dropped his birdie putt, and Schrader’s attempt slid by.
On to extra holes.
Wu then birdied the par-4 first hole to take the match. Birdie-birdie finish. Not bad. Wu will be a senior next year at St. Mary’s High School in Medford, Ore. He’s already verbally committed to Northwestern University in Illinois, and is wearing the Northwestern hat this week during the championship. Watch Wu’s mid-day interview here.
Other matches this morning? Yes, and good ones. It was almost a little unfortunate to see Cameron Peck face Nick Chianello so early in the bracket. Both players have some serious pedigree. Chianello is the two-time defending Oregon Amateur champion, and Peck won the Washington State Amateur last month. And Chianello made it to the semifinal match of last year’s championship.
Peck won this morning’s match, 3 and 2.
Jesse Heinly of Bend, Ore. is also marching on. Yesterday the senior at Portland’s Concordia University defeated defending champion Shotaro Ban, and this morning he had no problems in his match against David Snyder of McAllen, Texas, winning easily, 5 and 4.
Also moving on is Tim Tucker. The 45-year old Tucker is a full-time caddie at the resort, and is the local and sentimental favorite, with usually a small gallery of the resort’s employees following his matches around. This morning Tucker defeated Matt Rawitzer, 1-up.
Carl Jonson, the Bainbridge Island native and UNLV junior-to-be who was the runner-up at last year’s championship, won his match this morning against Gerrit Chambers, a junior at the University of Washington, 2 and 1.
This afternoon will see Jonson take on Tucker.
Mark Strickland, the junior at Western Washington University, was 2-down to Nicolas Noya after 13 holes, but then won four holes in a row to close out the match, 2 and 1.
The first tee time in this afternoon’s Round of 16 is 12:30, and will be played on the resort’s Bandon Trails course.