Jonathan Yaun shaved as many holes as he could off the front half of a double-round day at the North & South Amateur. The Liberty sophomore came out of the gate with a front-nine 28 on Pinehurst No. 2, quickly taking control of his Round-of-16 match against Oklahoma State’s Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen.
Yaun birdied seven of the first nine holes and won every single one. When he and Neergard-Petersen traded pars on the par-5 10th, the whole thing was suddenly over. On to the quarterfinals, but first a chance to relax.
Scoring: North & South Amateur
While he saved himself seven holes in the morning, Yaun went an extra hole in his quarterfinal match with Turk Pettit in the afternoon. Still, Yaun is moving on to the final day at Pinehurst. The Minneola, Florida, native finished runner-up at the Seminole Intercollegiate in the spring college season with his Liberty team, and last fall, won the individual title at the Royal Oaks Collegiate.
On Saturday morning, Yaun meets Tyler Strafaci, a Georgia Tech senior who is playing for an interesting bit of history. Strafaci’s grandfather Frank won the North & South title in 1938, and if the younger Strafaci can advance through the next two matches, it would make for the first grandfather-grandson winners in tournament history.
Strafaci’s path on Friday included a win over Oklahoma transfer Jonathan Brightwell, 1 up, and then another tight, 1-up victory over Pepperdine player Joe Highsmith.
On the top of the bracket, William Holcomb V, a U.S. Amateur semifinalist who seems to have a bit of magic around Pinehurst No. 2, will meet LSU junior Trey Winstead.
Holcomb took down Davis Thompson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 4 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, then Matt McCarty.
For his part, Winstead advanced past defending champion Cooper Dossey in the afternoon. Dossey had the advantage for most of the round until Winstead won three consecutive holes from Nos. 12-14. Dossey never could mount a comeback.