Liaw Wins Second Round Match; Can Advances

Duluth, Ga. – Defending champion Henry Liaw, 16, of Rowland Heights, Calif., withstood a strong challenge but advanced in the second round of match play at the 2002 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club’s 7,008-yard, par-70 Highlands Course.

Liaw defeated Alex Prugh, 17, of Spokane, Wash., 2 up, by winning the 17th and 18th holes.

Co-medalist Tarik Can, 17, of Douglaston, N.Y., advanced to the third round with a 2-and-1 win over Joshua Wooding, 17, of Riverside, Calif.

“I didn’t really lose it,” Liaw said after three consecutive par saves on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes that kept the match at all square. “I was making pars and he was making birdies. We both played well. We both played consistent, we made really good putts.”

Liaw, who held a 2-up lead after 11 holes, lost the 12th and 13th to birdies by Prugh.

On the 17th tee with the match all square, Prugh hit his tee shot on the 154-yard par-3 into the water fronting the green.

“It kind of made me feel I was going to hit it in the water too,” Liaw explained. I didn’t know what to take after that because I felt pretty confident with what I was going to use and then he hit it in the water and I felt like I was going to plunk it too. I made sure I got a good rip at it and got on the green.”

His tee shot reached the green and he two-putted for par and 1-up lead.

Liaw then found the fairway on the par-4, 462-yard 18th and reached the green with a 6-iron and won the hole with par after Prugh’s second shot was short and in the water hazard.

“I’ve been through it last year,” Liaw said of any pressure. “I was 4-down after nine with Ryan Cochran and we went to 22 holes. You’ve just got to play through it. You’ve got to stay calm.”

In other matches of note: Chanin Puntawong, 16, of Bradenton, Fla., a 2001 semifinalist defeated Chris Wilson, 17, of Dublin, Ohio, 3 and 1; Casey Wittenberg, 17, of Memphis, Tenn., beat Michael Randle, 16, of Austin, Texas, 6 and 5 and Shane Sigsbee, 17, of McKinney, Texas, who defeated co-medalist Jarred Texter of Lancaster, Pa., lost his match, 5 and 3 to Jake Grodzinsky, 17, of Cornville, Ariz.

Two of three Georgians advanced to the third round. Roberto Castro, 16, of Alpharetta, Ga., defeated Sam Korbe, 17, of Springdale, Ark., 2 up; and Brian Harmon, 15, of Savannah, Ga. edged Nick Hughey, 17, of Gaffney, S.C., 2 up. Chris Kirk, 17, of Woodstock, Ga. was defeated by Chad Moscovic, 17, of Stockton, Calif., 1 up.

Play was suspended at 1:08 p.m. because of lightning and rain with just one match to complete in the second round and no matches started in the third round. Resumption of play was at 2:38 p.m. for the third round.

The second and third rounds of match play are scheduled for Friday with the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds set for Saturday. The final is now slated for Sunday morning. All matches are scheduled for 18 holes.

The U.S. Junior Amateur, for golfers age 17 and younger, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Duluth, Ga. – Results of Friday’s second round of match play at the 2002 U.S. Junior Amateur played at the 7,008-yard, par-70 Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands Course:

Jake Grodzinsky, Cornville, Ariz. (148) def. Shane Sigsbee, McKinney, Texas (151), 5 and 3
Brian Harman, Savannah, Ga. (145) def. Nick Hughey, Gaffney, S.C. (149), 2 up
Roberto Castro, Alpharetta, Ga. (143) def. Sam Korbe, Springdale, Ark. (149), 2 up
Charlie Beljan, Mesa, Ariz. (150) def. Seath Lauer, Huntington, Ind. (146), 1 up
Casey Wittenberg, Memphis, Tenn. (141) def. Michael Randle, Austin, Texas (148), 6 and 5
Daniel Im, La Mirada, Calif. (144) def. Philip Chauncey, Durham, N.C. (149), 3 and 1
Henry Liaw, Rowland Heights, Calif. (142) def. Alex Prugh, Spokane, Wash. (147), 2 up
Elliott Wainwright, Hillsborough, Calif. (143) def. Dan Kleckner, Spring, Texas (146), 3 and 1
Tarik Can, Douglaston, N.Y. (139) def. Joshua Wooding, Riverside, Calif. (148), 2 and 1
Robert Riesen, Pinehurst, N.C. (145) def. Casey Clendenon, Houston, Texas (149), 1 up
Chad Moscovic, Stockton, Calif. (149) def. Chris Kirk, Woodstock, Ga. (143), 1 up
Chanin Puntawong, Bradenton, Fla. (146) def. Chris Wilson, Dublin, Ohio (143), 3 and 1
Joe Panzeri, Boise, Idaho (148) def. Chris Wells, Mobile, Ala. (151), 4 and 3
Beau Glover, Sherwood, Ark. (144) def. Cole Isban, South Bend, Ind. (149), 3 and 2
Zac Reynolds, Edmond, Okla. (142) def. Blaine Peffley, Lebanon, Pa., (147), 2 and 1
Matt Harmon, Grand Rapids, Mich. (143) def. Tom Glissmeyer, Colorado Springs, Colo. (146), 19 holes