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Big finish sends Wu into match play at US Am

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Dylan Wu saved his best for last.


The Medford golfer overcame a slow start with five birdies on the back nine and advanced to match play in the 117th U.S. Amateur at Riviera Country Club Tuesday.

Wu, who will be a senior at Northwestern and starred at St. Mary's High, tied for 49th place after two days of stroke-play qualifying. His 2-over 72 in the second round left him at 3-over 143.

The top 64 from qualifying advanced to match play, which begins Wednesday.

Wu's first match is at noon PDT against Patrick Cover, of Huntersville, North Carolina. Cover shot a 67 Tuesday at Riviera for 138 total, tying him for eighth place.

The tournament will be televised on FS1 through Friday, and on FOX on Saturday and Sunday.

Oklahoma State University junior Hayden Wood, of Edmond, Oklahoma, broke the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying record with a total of 131 to earn medalist honors. Wood shot a 3-under 67 at the other stroke-play course, Bel-Air Country Club.

Oregon sophomore Norman Xiong, of San Diego, California, shared the first-day lead with Wood at 6 under. Xiong shot an even-par 70 at Bel-Air for a 134, good for the No. 2 match-play seed behind Wood.

Wu, who led the Big Ten in scoring this past year, parred the first two holes, then started a string of four straight bogeys and five in six holes. He made the turn at 6 over for the tourney, which was 2 over the eventual cut line.

Wu then sandwiched birdies at Nos. 10, 11 and 13 around a bogey at 12. He added another bogey at 15, then birdied 16 and 17 — the latter a 606-yard par 5 — before parring 18.

In the first round, Wu made a late charge with a birdie and eagle over his final four holes.

Wood, playing in his second Amateur, made four birdies and a bogey at Bel-Air.

The championship’s stroke-play record had been 132, shared by Hank Kim in 1994, Gregor Main in 2011 and Bobby Wyatt in 2012.

“It feels good, with 312 guys it is awesome,” Wood said. “To play that way these last two days has been good. I like where my game is. I feel comfortable on this course (Riviera) and it fits my game. I am looking forward to it because the tournament starts tomorrow.”

Wood, 21, is the son of 1977 U.S. Junior Amateur champion and PGA Tour Champions player Willie Wood.

Xiong kept up his fine play, too.

“It was fun,” said Xiong, 18, who won the Western Amateur two weeks ago. “I played some really solid golf. I did what I needed to do and got through to match play, which is the biggest goal.”

A trio of players finished at 136, five strokes off the pace: George Washington junior Logan Lowe, Vanderbilt University senior Theo Humphrey and Alabama senior Lee Hodges.

The other first-round co-leader, Mark Lawrence Jr., of Richmond, Virginia, shot 73 at Riviera and finished at 137 along with Joaquin Niemann, of Chile, who is No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Another Oregon player, Edwin Yi, shot 64 at Bel-Air to tie for 15th at 139. He and Brian Humphreys, who missed the cut at 150, advanced to the Amateur through a qualifier at Centennial Golf Club in Medford.