Aug. 19, 2008
PINEHURST, N.C. – Notre Dame rising junior Carl Santos-Ocampo (Naples, Fla./Community School of Naples) has become the first Fighting Irish golfer in 35 years to advance to match play at the United States Amateur Championship, making the 36-hole stroke play cut on Tuesday with a two-round total of four-over par 144 (73-71) that tied him for 47th place on the famed Pinehurst Resort’s No. 2 & 4 courses in Pinehurst, N.C.
The No. 56 seed, Santos-Ocampo will open U.S. Amateur match play at 8:50 a.m. (ET) Wednesday when he takes on ninth-seeded Jeff Edelman of Southlake, Texas, at the Pinehurst No. 2 course (par 70/7,281 yards). Edelman, who played at Duke from 2006-07, moved on after carding a one-under par 139 (68-71) to tie for eighth place.
Santos-Ocampo booked his place on the 64-man match play tree after an impressive even-par 35 on the back nine of Tuesday’s second round, capping his day with a birdie putt on No. 18 that boosted him one shot above the eventual cut line (+5). That turned out to be especially fortuitous, as 26 players are still alive at +5 and will battle for the remaining two match-play spots early Wednesday morning.
With his advancement, Santos-Ocampo becomes the first Notre Dame golfer to reach U.S. Amateur match play since the tournament’s current format (36 holes of stroke play, 64-man match play) was adopted in 1973.
Should he defeat Edelman on Wednesday, Santos-Ocampo would face either No. 24 seed David McDaniel (a former Arizona golfer) or No. 41 seed Paul Woodbury (a rising junior at South Carolina) in the second round at 8 a.m. (ET) Thursday, with round-of-16 action slated for later that afternoon. The tournament continues with the quarterfinals on Friday, the semifinals on Saturday and 36-hole final on Sunday. Live in-progress match-play results are available on-line through the official U.S. Amateur web site, and The Golf Channel will carry portions of the match play competition each afternoon, beginning with Wednesday’s coverage from 1-4 p.m. (ET).
This week’s U.S. Amateur match-play qualification continues an outstanding summer for Santos-Ocampo, who also made the cut at three top amateur events — the Florida State Amateur, Eastern Amateur and Southern Amateur — and finished tied for 24th place at the Southern Amateur. In addition, he won the Tournament Players Association (TPA) at Windstar event in his hometown of Naples, Fla., and tied for 11th place (second among amateurs) at the E-Z-Go South Florida PGA Open, which also was held in Naples.
— ND —