BROOKLINE, Mass. – Scottie Scheffler has a flare for the dramatic – and comebacks.
Scheffler, a Texas freshman from Dallas, won his Round of 32 match at the U.S. Amateur, defeating Brandon Hagy, a Cal senior from Westlake Village, Calif., in 20 holes Thursday at The Country Club.
The victory was Scheffler’s second consecutive match to extend beyond regulation. He also needed 20 holes to dispatch Stewart Jolly on Wednesday.
On both days, Scheffler did his damage on No. 17 – on Thursday morning, however, it was to extend the match.
With Hagy holding a 1-up lead, Scheffler, at 17 the youngest player remaining in the field, hit his driver into the left rough, 20 yards beyond Hagy, who hit 3-wood off the tee, into the fairway.
Hagy played first and hit to 15 feet just above the hole. Scheffler, through the thick rough, hit it to 20 feet, also above the hole. Both players were looking for their approach shots to trickle back down off a slope in the middle of the green toward the hole, but neither did.
But Scheffler’s putter has worked in the clutch before and it did so on 17 when his birdie putt tumbled into the hole.
Hagy couldn’t answer with his close-range putt, leaving the match all-square heading to 18.
“I don’t remember much,” Scheffler said.
Both players made bogey on the 18th after wayward tee shots. Then on the first extra hole, players said, “good-good,” to par putts. Each had 3 feet left.
It came down to a pitch-and-putt game on the 197-yard, par-3 second hole as Hagy missed the green left, Scheffler right.
Hagy had a 5-footer up the hill to save par on the 20th hole, but missed it left – likely eliminating any outside hope of making the U.S. Walker Cup squad, which is expected to be finalized by Monday.
All Scheffler had to do was make his 2-footer.
It’s like Scheffler was unconscious. He said he didn’t know what he did on any of the holes he played except for 17 and 18.
He also came from behind at last month’s U.S. Junior Amateur, when he was crowned champion with a 3-and-2 victory at Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif. He didn’t lead in that match against Davis Riley until the 31st hole of the scheduled 36-hole final.
In the Round of 16 this afternoon, Scheffler will meet Austria’s Matthias Schwab, a 2-and-1 winner against Zac Blair of Ogden, Utah.