Blog 314, 8/11/14 - Strickland Opens with 76 at US Amateur

markstricklandWestern Washington's Mark Strickland (right) shot a five-over-par 76 in the first round of qualifying at the 114th U.S. Amateur Championship being played at the Atlanta Athletic Club in John's Creek, GA., Monday.
Strickland's score was recorded on the club's Highlands Course, the same layout on which Keegan Bradley won the 2011 PGA Championship in a playoff with Jason Dufner. This week, the Highlands is playing just 93 yards shorter than it did for the world's best but, after nine holes, Strickland looked all set to match the demanding par of 71. Having started at the 10th, the Mukilteo resident reached the turn in 36, but the wheels came off on his back nine. A bogey at the 1st (10th hole of the round) was followed by successive double-bogeys at the 3rd and 4th.
A homeward 40 saw Strickland finish the day in a tie for 207th out of 312 competitors each of them playing one round on the Highlands Course, the other on the club's slightly shorter Riverside Course.
After 36 holes, only the top 64 will advance to matchplay. Three players - Jimmy Beck, Sam Horsfield and Taylor Moore - are currently tied at the top of the leaderboard on six-under par. Beck played the Highlands Course, while Horsfield and Moore recorded matching 66s on the par 72 Riverside. There are 26 players tied for 44th on level-par, meaning Strickland will probably need to shoot a five-under 67 or better on the Riverside tomorrow in order to advance. 
Scores here.

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