Fillmore Claims Medalist Honors
Robbie Fillmore blistered No. 4 for a 5-under 65 Tuesday, claiming medalist honors in the U.S. Amateur being held at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club this week.
He led nine players that went under par during the two days of qualifying on Nos. 2 and 4 with a 69-65--134. His 6-under two-day total is two strokes clear of Wesley Bryan, who was tied for first with Andrew Putnam after Monday's first round of qualifying.
Fillmore, 22, who plays for Brigham Young University, used an eagle on the par-4 fifth hole on No. 4 to jump start a steady round in which he also recorded three birdies. He had only one bogey on the day.
"My plan was to make the cut (for match play)," Fillmore said. "Did I believe I could do it? Yes. Did I plan on a 65? Absolutely not."
Fillmore said he used a 6-iron from about 178 yards to record his 2 on the par-4 fifth.
"It took one hop and went in," he said.
Although the eagle depended on a little luck, Fillmore contributed his low score to consistency.
"I hit a lot of fairways and greens," Fillmore said. "I don't hit the ball real long. ... The golf course (No. 4) was way too long to play out of the rough. You better be in the fairway."
Jack Fields of Southern Pines struggled during qualifying, but was one of 26 players that will return Wednesday morning to compete for the remaining two spots in match play. The cutline was 5-over-par 145, and Fields went 73-72 to earn his spot in the playoffs. The playoff will be held on No. 4, starting on the first tee. The playoff starts at 7:30 p.m., with Fields in the group that will go off at 8:20 a.m.
Danny Lee, the top-ranked amateur, and Ricky Fowler, the second-ranked amateur, both qualified for match play. Lee finished at 1-over-par, while Fowler finished at 4-over to make the 64-player match play field. Kevin O'Connell, a Cary resident who plays for UNC, also came in at 4-over to earn a berth in Wednesday's first-round matches.
Cory Nagy of Charlotte, finished at 3-under in qualifying, finishing in a tie for third with Dan Woltman of Beaver Dam, Wis.
Nagy, who has played at Pinehurst numerous times ever since his high school days in Charlotte, followed up his 70 on No. 2 Monday with a 67 on No. 4 Tuesday. Like Fillmore, he thought patience and consistency were the keys to his 3-under effort.
"I really stayed patient and calm, and was very focused mentally," Nagy, who plays for UNC-Charlotte, said. "I thought I handled myself very well. I hit it pretty well and I made some pretty good putts."
Putnam followed up his opening round 67 with a 1-over 71 on No. 2 Tuesday.
"I hit the ball better today than yesterday," Putnam, who plays for Pepperdine University, said. "I just didn't make any putts. I cold have gone pretty low today, but nothing really dropped. Hopefully, I saved them for match play."
Erik Flores, a member of the UCLA golf team that won the NCAA national championship, found No. 4 to his liking Tuesday. After opening with a 72 on No. 2 Monday, he came back Tuesday to card a 4-under 66 on No. 4, earning a tie for fifth with Putnam and Kyle Stanley.
Stanley of Gig Harbor, Wash., is one of five Clemson golfers in the 315-player field.
"I played smart golf the last couple of days," he said. "I just have tried to put it in the middle of the greens and let my putter do the work. You need to make sure you're on the right side of the greens."
Fillmore said his philosophy entering match play would be the same as during qualifying.
"Hit the fairway, hit the greens," he said, "and make putts."
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