Extra! Extra! Lots of extra holes

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TULSA, Okla. – I’m not sure what the record is, or even if the USGA keeps such a record, but it really struck me as interesting the number of matches in the first round of this year’s U.S. Amateur that went extra holes.

Maybe there have been more, but in my 23 consecutive years of covering this grand championship, I can’t seem to remember this many to start things off.

Of the 32 opening matches seven had to go into overtime mode. For some reason, that strikes me as a lot.

Of those seven, six were decided on the 19th hole – the 466-yard, par-4 opening hole.

The longest of them was between Tyson Alexander, a senior at Florida and son of Gator coach and 1986 U.S. Amateur champion Buddy Alexander, and Ben Martin, a senior at Clemson. Martin, who saw Alexander win the final three holes of regulation, went on to win on the 21st hole.

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