Marines' Lambeth advances to APL match play

Addison Lambeth followed a 3-under 67 with a 6-over 76 on Tuesday, but still made match play at the U.S. Amateur Public Links in Virginia.

Addison Lambeth followed a 3-under 67 with a 6-over 76 on Tuesday, but still made match play at the U.S. Amateur Public Links in Virginia.

LORTON, Va. - Addison Lambeth doesn’t get a lot of time to work on his golf game, let alone play in a competitive event.

His day job as a policeman in the Marine Corps pretty much takes up the bulk of his time.

“I’m usually putting in a 12- to 14-hour day, so there’s not too much time for golf,” said Lambeth, 25, from Browns Summit, N.C. “I try to get out and at least hit some balls as much as I can.”

Still, after winning the 2012 U.S. Marine Corps Championship and representing the U.S. in last year’s All Armed Forces Championship, he felt he was ready to try his game at a higher level.

He took a couple of days' leave and entered this year’s U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. In early June at Independence Golf Club in Midlothan, Va., he was co-medalist and one of three successful qualifiers for the 88th APL this week at Laurel Hill Golf Club.

It worked out well for Lambeth as the championship is being played 18 miles from Quantico (Va.) Marine Corps Base, where the lance corporal is stationed.

“I’ve got a lot of guys pulling for me,” said Lambeth, who also qualified for the APL in 2007. “I’m having a lot of fun, but I’ve already been here once. My goal is to win this thing.

“I’m very fortunate because my commanding officer is a sports nut and a big golf fan,” Lambeth said. “After I qualified, he was kind enough to give me some time off to play.”

So far, so good, too.

Lambeth, who played three years of golf at Appalachian State in North Carolina (2006-09), got off to a solid start with a 3-under 67 Monday in the opening round of stroke-play qualifying. That left him tied for fourth.

Starting on the 10th hole, Lambeth birdied 15 and 16, but made bogey at 17 and added another at No. 1 to get back to even on the day. But he charged back with birdies at Nos. 3, 4, and 7.

“Coming in, I wanted to start with something around par because I think par is a good score out here,” Lambeth said. “I didn’t drive it all that well today, but my iron play was solid and I putted well.”

Round two, however, provided some hectic, intense and nerve-racking moments as he struggled to a 6-over 76.

It was a disaster at the start. Lambeth bogeyed Nos. 3, 4, 7 and 8 and then made a shocking 9 on the par-5 ninth hole. He shot 8-over 43 and looked like he was going to be heading home.

But he righted himself with birdies at 10 and 11. He made a bogey at 12 and then secured his spot in match play with a birdie at the 18th to finish at 3-over 143.

That means he won’t be heading back to his base Wednesday but rather will be on the golf course. He faces Nick Sherwood of Albany, Ore., at 11:50 a.m. in a first-round match.

“Those first nine holes might be the worst I’ve ever played,” Lambeth said. “I have no idea what was going on. But I’m proud of the way I held it together and was able to come back on the back nine. Now it’s a whole new tournament, and we’ll just have to see what happens.”

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