Aug. 20, 2008
Clemson, SC – Kyle Stanley and Sam Saunders suffered a heart-breaking defeat. All three Clemson golfers had reached match play of the 2008 United States Amateur at Pinehurst #2 in Pinehurst, NC.
Stanley’s and Burger’s victories gave Clemson two players in the final 32 of the event for just the third time in history and the first time since 2001. That year D.J. Trahan and John Engler both won first round matches. It also took place in 1997 when Charles Warren and Tommy Biershenk garnered first round wins.
A win for either golfer would give Clemson a player in the final 16 for the first time since 2003 when Gregg Jones reached that round.
Stanley advanced to the second round of match play for the second year in a row with a 4 & 3 win over Seung-Su Han of Irvine, CA, a member of the UNLV golf team. Stanley now advances to face Conner McHenry of Jefferson City, MO, a member of the Wichita State golf team. That match will take place at 9:10 AM on Thursday.
Stanley won the third and fourth holes with birdies and had a three-up lead through just six holes. He took a four-up lead by winning the 14th hole, then closed out the match on 15 with a par.
Burger defeated Michael O’Neal of Jacksonville, FL 2 and 1 on Wednesday. Burger won the first hole and never trailed in the match. He was three up through seven holes thanks to an eagle two on the par four seventh hole. That was a big lift because O’Neal also played the hole well with a birdie.
Burger was still three up through 11, then O’Neal made a run and cut the lead to one-up through 15. But, Burger won the 17th hole with a birdie, his only birdie on the back side to clinch the victory.
Burger now must face the number-one amateur in the world according to Golfweek in Danny Lee of New Zealand. Lee won the Western Amateur this summer and finished 20th at the Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour just last weekend.
Saunders lost to Sihwan Kim of Buena Park, CA and Stanford University in 19 holes. Saunders never led in the match, but made a great comeback to force extra holes. He was three down with three to play, then won the 16th ,17th and 18th holes with pars. But, he bogeyed the first hole, the first extra hole and Kim made a par to win.
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