Aug. 20, 2008
PINEHURST, N.C. – After becoming the first Notre Dame golfer in more than three decades to reach the match-play stage of the U.S. Amateur Championship, rising junior Carl Santos-Ocampo (Naples, Fla./Community School of Naples) had his tournament stay cut short with a 5 & 3 loss to Jeff Edelman in the opening round of match play at the 108th U.S. Amateur on Wednesday morning at the Pinehurst Resort No. 2 course (par 70/7,232 yards) in Pinehurst, N.C.
Santos-Ocampo took the early lead on Edelman, a native of Southlake, Texas, with a birdie on the par-4 first hole, but the Notre Dame veteran would stay in front for only one more hole. On the third, Edelman squared the match with a birdie of his own, and took his first lead with a par on No. 4. Santos-Ocampo drew level on the fifth hole when Edelman double-bogeyed the 472-yard layout, but that would be his last hurrah. Edelman won the next three holes to take control of the match, eventually closing out Santos-Ocampo with a par on the 15th hole.
Despite the loss, Santos-Ocampo wraps up one of the strongest summer seasons by an Irish golfer in recent memory. Besides making the stroke-play cut at the U.S. Amateur (the first Notre Dame player to do so since the tournament’s current format was adopted in 1973), Santos-Ocampo 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.
Santos-Ocampo’s recent successes at the U.S. Amateur (and his accomplishments throughout the summer) have been a welcome respite for golf aficionados in the Naples area, which endured a near-direct hit by Tropical Storm Fay earlier this week.
Santos-Ocampo will enjoy a couple of days off before returning to Notre Dame to begin his junior season with the Irish. Notre Dame will tee off its 2008-09 season Sept. 8-9 when it takes part in the USF Olympic Club Intercollegiate at the world-renowned Olympic Club in suburban San Francisco.
— ND —