Texas is known for producing great wind players, and two of the three leaders after the first round of stroke-play qualifying for the 120th U.S. Amateur at breezy Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon are from the Lone Star State.
McClure Meissner of San Antonio finished with a flurry of birdies on Nos. 14, 16, 17 and 18 to post an 8-under 64 Monday at Bandon Dunes to lead the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying. Travis McInroe of McKinney, Texas, shot 65 on Bandon Dunes and was in third place at 7 under. The Baylor junior birdied every other hole on the front nine.
Aman Gupta of Concord, N.C., also opened with a 64 and was 7 under on Bandon Trails, the second course used in qualifying. He did all his damage on the front nine, posting seven birdies and making the turn in 29. He parred all nine holes on the back, and the USGA reported his 64 broke the competitive record on Trails – formerly held by Chris Williams and Kevin Lim – by two shots.
Both Meissner and Gupta took advantage of their early tee times before afternoon gusts made scoring more difficult.
Gupta, who plays at Oklahoma State, was added to the field after Florida’s Ricky Castillo, who would have been the highest-ranked player in the U.S. Amateur, withdrew, telling GolfChannel.com that he has experienced extreme fatigue leading up to the week. According to the report, Castillo tested negative for COVID-19 twice but wanted to protect the field just in case.
Meissner plays at SMU in Dallas. He won the Southern Amateur in July for the biggest win of his career to date.
Defending champ Andy Ogletree shot a 3-over 74 on Bandon Trails and was T-101 after one day.
The U.S. Amateur features 18 more holes of stroke play Tuesday. The 264-player field will then be cut down to the low 64 (there will be a playoff if needed to determine the final spots among the 64), setting up the match-play portion of the championship.
Match Play will be exclusively on Bandon Dunes on Wednesday through Sunday.
How to watch
Wednesday Aug. 5 (Round of 64 matches): 6-7 p.m., Peacock (streaming); 7-9 p.m., Golf Channel
Thursday, Aug. 6 (Round of 16 matches): 6-7 p.m., Peacock; 7-9 p.m., Golf Channel
Friday, Aug. 7 (Quarterfinals matches): 6-7 p.m., Peacock; 7-9 p.m., Golf Channel
Saturday, Aug. 8 (Semifinal matches): 7-10 p.m., Golf Channel
Sunday, Aug. 9 (Championship match): 7-10 p.m., Golf Channel