Last One In
It may not be the most glamourous way to win, but Kelly Kraft will take it.
The 13th seeded Kraft won the last pairing on the course at Pinehurst No. 2 in Thursday's North & South Amateur Championship third round when fourth seeded Morgan Hoffman shanked a 4-foot putt on the 22nd hole.
Kraft advances to Friday morning's quarterfinals to face 12th seeded Riley Arp, a 4 and 3 winner over 37th seed Joseph Bramlett in the third round.
They'll be the second pairing to go out, after top seed David Chung tees off against 41st seed Josh Eure at 8 a.m.
After winning four of the last six holes to take a 2-up win in the morning session, Chung, the defending champion, carried the momentum into the afternoon, defeating 48th seed Gregory Moss in only 15 holes.
Meanwhile, Eure, the lowest seed remaining in the tournament, put away eighth seed Blayne Barber 2 and 1 with a short birdie putt on the par-3 17th.
Donald Constable, the 31st seed, defeated 50th seed Damon Postal 3 and 1. His quarterfinal opponent will be seventh seeded Lee Bedford, who downed 55th seed Jonathan Pannone 3 and 1.
The other quarterfinal features 11th seeded Barrett Keplin, a 4 and 3 winner over 27th seed Clayton Rotz, taking on 19th seeded Kyle Peterman, a 4 and 3 winner over 30th seed Will Bowman.
No third-round match brought more excitement than Kraft's win over Hoffman. What it lacked in glamour, it more than made up for in astonishment.
Kraft watched his 3-up lead dwindle to a hole before Hoffman birdied the par-3 17th to square the match. Both players parred the 18th and first two extra holes.
On the third, Hoffman sent his drive right and into the trees. Kraft, playing without a caddie, responded by pulling an iron and playing a safe shot. Both approaches went onto the green, but both players missed their birdie putts, and the match went to a fourth extra hole.
This time it was Kraft who sent his drive far right into the trees, but Hoffman returned the favor when his approach went left and settled behind a small tree. That caused his third shot to fall short into a bunker, while Kraft escaped danger and was on in three with only a makeable birdie putt standing between himself and the win.
First, Hoffman sailed his sand shot within 4 feet of the cup. Then Kraft left his birdie putt lacking and to the left.
A fifth extra hole seemed likely, but that was before Hoffman's par putt horseshoed around the cup and stayed out on the lip.
He immediately removed his hat and shook Kraft's hand.
The semifinals will follow the quarterfinals on Friday, with the 36-hole championship pairing set to take place Saturday.
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