BANDON, Ore. – Derek Ackerman and Matt McCarty of Santa Clara men's golf advanced to match play at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship after posting the best score in 36 holes of stroke play at the fifth annual event, which is being held on both the Old Macdonald and Pacific Dunes courses at Bandon Dunes Resort.
Ackerman and McCarty ended in a three-way tie for first at 13-under-par 128 with the duos of Derek Abel and Christopher Wheeler of Texas, and Troy Vannucci and Vince Kwon of New Jersey.
The top 32 twosomes in the 128-duo field advanced to match play on Monday. The round of 16 and quarterfinals are set for Tuesday, with semifinals and the final on tap Wednesday.
Ackerman and McCarty posted six birdies and only one bogey on Sunday en route to a 5-under 65 on the Pacific Dunes course. They carded an 8-under 63 on Saturday on Old Macdonald, which will serve as the venue for all match play.
Abel and Wheeler matched the championship 18-hole record with a 62 on Pacific Dunes.
In a format that features each golfer playing his own ball throughout, and the lower of the partners' scores counting, conditions changed from Saturday to Sunday, with overcast skies and intermittent rain being replaced by sunshine and stronger breezes.
"It was a lot breezier today," Ackerman said to the USGA. "Yesterday, it was about as easy conditions as you can have, other than the rain."
Ackerman and McCarty were 5-under through 14 holes. After a birdie on No. 5, McCarty converted a 15-foot par putt on No. 6. The lone bogey for the twosome came on the 515-yard, par-4 15th hole, but McCarty coolly converted a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to pull the team into a three-way tie for medalist.
"I knew [Derek] was in with 5, so I just figured I'd hit it to the back of the cup," McCarty said to the USGA. "We were definitely thinking about [being medalist] it a little after [Saturday's 63]. I don't think that was our main goal coming out here today."