FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Nicolas Echavarria of the University of Arkansas men’s golf team advanced in thrilling fashion to the round of 32 at the U.S. Junior Amateur while Austin Cook
led a quartet of Razorbacks at the Southern Amateur.
At the Golf Club of New England, Echavarria was forced to rally late in order to advance to the next stage of the 65th Junior Amateur. The 2011 semifinalist got off to a solid start when he won the second hole with a par and was two up after four holes. His opponent, Jacob Ross of Brookhaven, Miss., would come back with a pair of wins to even the match on hole No. 7 and take the lead on No. 8 with a birdie. Ross’ hot streak would continue and by hole No. 13, Ross would find himself up three with five to play.
Faced with a huge hill to climb, Echavarria calmly went about his business and won each of the next two holes with a pair of par putts. Down one with three to go, the pair would bogey No. 16 to keep the score in Ross’ favor. Echavarria would tie the match on the par three, 17th, when he sank a birdie putt and a par on No. 18 gave the future Razorback the win, 1 up.
The win for Echavarria moves him to the round of 32 where he will face the No. 34 seed Jake Shuman of Needham, Miss. The winner of that match will play a second round against the winner of the Rigel Fernandes (No, 50)-Charles Cai (No. 47). Shuman, Fernandes and Cai each knocked off higher seeds in their first-day matches.
Over at the Southern Amateur at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, Ark., Cook finished his first round of competition tied for fifth while Kolton Crawford
(T92), Joe Doramus
(T127) and Zach Coats (T155) rounded out the Razorback contingent.
Cook was good the entire day as he began competition on No. 10. The Jonesboro, Ark., native sank a pair of birdie putts in his first four holes to stand at two-under par. He would maintain that through the turn as he knocked down five pars. Cook carded his first bogey on No. 1, but rebounded from the setback with a birdie on No. 2. He would move into a tie for third with a birdie on No. 7, but closed his round with a bogey on the par four ninth. Cook, a senior-to-be, is just two strokes off the leaders after 18 holes.
Crawford’s round began poorly as he carded an uncharacteristic double bogey on the par five, 10th, his first hole. He would get one stroke back with a birdie on No. 13, but a bogey on No. 17 placed him at two-over par at the turn. A birdie on No. 1 was followed by a pair of bogeys and a double on No. 7, concluding his round at five-over par and tied for 93rd overall.
For Little Rock, Ark., native Joe Doramus
, seven bogeys and 11 pars lined his scorecard. Even par through three, he bogeyed No. 4 and No. 7 to make the turn at two-over par. Additional bogeys on No. 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17 finished his round at 79, seven-over par and in a tie for 125th.
Coats played well early, but struggled down on the back nine as he finished his day at 11-over par. Just two-over when he made the turn, a pair of double bogeys over the final nine holes placed him in a tie for 153rd.
Southern Amateur action continues on Thursday with another round of stroke play competition.