Aug. 26, 2009
Clemson, SC – Ben Martin and Phillip Mollica, members of the 2009 Clemson golf team, both won first round matches on Wednesday at the United States Amateur at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK on Wednesday.
Mollica will move on to the second round on Thursday morning and face Cameron Wilson of Rowayton, CT, while Martin will face Chris Ward of McKinney, TX. Ward won in 19 holes in an upset over Brian Harman of the University of Georgia and the 2009 Walker Cup team.
Mollica defeated Travis Ross of Crookston, MN in the first round two-up. He won four of the last six holes to gain that victory. Ross, a junior at the University of New Mexico, was the number-14 qualifier at 144. He had reached the match play at the US Public Links in June.
Ross won each of the first three holes, as Mollica bogeyed two of the first three. Ross still led three-up through the seventh hole before Mollica won the eighth hole with a birdie on the par three 243 yard hole.
Ross was still one up through 12, but Mollica then won the 13th and 14th to take the lead. Ross won the 16th hole to make the match all square, but Mollica won the 17th and 18th holes with a birdie and a bogey, respectively.
Martin had a three up lead with three holes to play, then Alexander won the last three holes as Martin made a pair of bogeys. The two players halved the first two playoff holes before Martin won the third playoff hole with a par.
Martin had shot 141 in the stroke play qualifying to tie for second with rounds of 73-68. His 68 had taken place at Southern Hills and tied for the best round on that course during the qualifying round.
This marks the second straight year Clemson has had two players advance in to the second round of Match Play. Last year Kyle Stanley and Jacob Burger both reached the second round before losing.
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