The medalist survived in the first round of match play at the Maridoe Amateur, and a grueling week in North Texas continues.
Twenty-four hours after Will Holcomb earned medalist honors at the inaugural event at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, he eeked out a close victory over Noah Woolsey. Holcomb, a fifth-year senior at Sam Houston State, finished 54 holes at 2 over (the best score by three shots) to claim the No. 1 seed. On Thursday morning, Woolsey, a senior at Washington, was among six players who had to come back and play off for two remaining spots in the bracket. He took the No. 64 seed while Devon Bling took the No. 63 spot.
Holcomb is notoriously tough in match play, having made it to the semifinals at the 2019 U.S. Amateur and the finals at the 2020 North & South Amateur. But Maridoe is a different animal.
Scores: Maridoe Amateur
After claiming medalist honors on Wednesday, Holcomb said the key would be to take it one match at a time. If that’s the case, one down and five to go.
Holcomb was 2 down to Woolsey by the fifth hole, squared it by the time the match reached the back nine, and narrowly outlasted Woolsey after he won the par-3 15th with a double to Woolsey’s triple and the two tied the final three holes.
Holcomb faces Zack Taylor, a fifth-year senior at Coastal Carolina, in the next match.
Down the bracket, Preston Summerhays, the 2019 U.S. Junior champ, outlasted USC freshman Shane Ffrench, 4 and 3. Below that, Michael Thorbjornsen, who won the 2018 U.S. Junior, and McClure Meissner, who won the Southern Amateur (at Maridoe, no less), both advanced and will meet in the next round.
SMU’s Noah Goodwin, a winner at the Maridoe Collegiate earlier this fall, knocked off Arkansas’ Julian Perico. N.C. State senior Benjamin Shipp, the South Beach International Amateur winner a year ago, went an extra hole in defeating Oklahoma fifth-year senior Garret Reband.
Frankie Capan, who led stroke play much of the week, defeated Matthew Sharpstene, a semifinalist at this year’s U.S. Amateur. He now faces Segundo Oliva Pinto, the Arkansas player who famously bowed out of the U.S. Amateur because of caddie error.
Notably, Texas star Cole Hammer failed to advance, falling at the hand of Arizona State’s Cameron Sisk, though his teammates Parker Coody and Travis Vick both did. Now they meet in the next round.
On the bottom of the bracket, Jonathan Brightwell, who authored a brilliant 69 in the second round (the only number under par that day), defeated Stanford freshman Karl Vilips and now gets Wilson Furr, the U.S. Amateur medalist, in the next round.