Taylor Advances To Semifinals With Close Win
NORMAN, Okla. -- Nick Taylor faced his toughest challenge yet against Wesley Bryan in the quarterfinals of match play at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships on Friday, but emerged unscathed with a 2 and 1 win to advance to the semifinals this afternoon.
Taylor had won his previous three matches in relative ease, not needing more the 14 holes to defeat any of his opponents. But, Bryan, who is entering his sophomore year at the University of South Carolina, was undaunted by the red-hot Taylor.
The pair halved the first four holes before Taylor struck the first blow on the 621-yard, par-5 fifth hole with a birdie to Bryan's par. Taylor, the number one ranked amateur in the world, would increase his lead on No. 7 when Bryan bogeyed the 434-yard, par-4 hole, while Taylor scored par.
Once again, the pair halved the next four holes to keep Bryan within striking distance of Taylor. But, on the par-3 12th hole, Bryan found trouble and bogeyed, while Taylor remained steady and scored par to extend his lead to 3 up.
The next three holes were a see-saw battle back-and-forth. Bryan sliced into Taylor's lead when he scored a birdie on the par-5 No. 13, but gave it right back on No. 14 when he bogeyed. Taylor let Bryan back in the match on No. 15 when he bogeyed the par-3 hole to go 2 up with three holes left to play. Both Taylor and Bryan scored par on the next two holes to give Taylor the 2 and 1 win.
Taylor will face Philip Bryan (no relation to Wesley) at 10:30 am PT today in the semifinals. Bryan should have the home course advantage at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club as he is currently the assistant coach of the University of Oklahoma and competed collegiately for the university.
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