Fillmore Goes Low in U.S. Am
Robbie Fillmore blistered No. 4 for a 5-under 65 Tuesday, setting the early pace for qualifying in the U.S. Amateur being held at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club this week.
He is the leader in the clubhouse with a 69-65--134. His 6-under two-day total is three strokes clear of Cory Nagy of Charlotte, who sits at 137 after two days of qualifying for Wednesday's match play. Half the field was still out on either Nos. 2 or 4, the courses being used for 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."
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 today. 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."
Andrew Putnam, who was tied for the lead after Monday's play with Wesley Bryan, followed up his opening round 67 with a 1-over 71 on No. 2 Tuesday. Bryan was one of the players with an afternoon starting time.
"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."
Four other players were in the clubhouse with under-par scores, guaranteeing themselves a spot in the match play portion of the national amateur championship, including Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor, Wash., 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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