U.S. Junior final: Riley, Zalatoris all square after 18
THE WOODLANDS, Texas –– If the first 18 holes were indication, the final 18 holes of Saturday’s U.S. Junior Amateur final are sure to be hotly contested.
Davis Riley of Hattiesburg, Miss., and Will Zalatoris of Plano, Texas, are all square at the midway point of the scheduled 36-hole final at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course. In total, 12 birdies, seven bogeys and a double bogey have been made between the two so far, and neither has taken more than a 2-up lead at any point in the first 18 holes.
Here’s how it’s all unfolded so far:
Both players started out with birdie at the par-4 opening hole before Zalatoris took 1-up leads at Nos. 2, 4 and 6, the two players alternating wins for a five hole-stretch. Riley, last year’s runner-up, then won the par-4 ninth with par after Zalatoris found the water before birdieing Nos. 11 and 12, the latter by draining a lengthy putt, to go 2 up.
But after a Riley bogey at the par-5 13th, Zalatoris stuck his approach to 2 feet at the par-4 15th to win the hole with birdie and bring the match back to all square.
At the par-3 17th, Riley took his second lead of the match, getting up-and-down out of a bunker for par and a 1-up lead. But at the par-5 18th, both players chose to lay up with a difficult front-left hole location. While Riley found the front bunker, Zalatoris stuck his third shot to about 5 feet and made the birdie to even things up heading into the break.
The match is scheduled to resume at 1 p.m. local time.