Puyat reaches U.S. Jr. Am match play with 72, Davao’s Ikeda heads 4-player ICTSI squad in 108th Women’s Amateur C’ship

Marcel Puyat played just good enough to make it to the 2010 US Junior Amateur Championship match play phase, matching par 72 and finishing in 17th place at the close of the 36-stroke play elims at the Egypt Vallley Country Club in Ada, Michigan Tuesday.
Puyat, 17, birdied the par-5 No. 17, capping his fightback from a shaky opening 38 with a 34 for a two-day aggregate of three-under 141. It was a big drop from his joint eighth start but it was enough to ensure his stint in the knockout
stage of the event among the world’s leading amateurs.
Curtis Thompson of Florida rallied with a 66 to snatch the low medal honors from erstwhile pacesetter Jordan Spieth with a solid 10-under 134. Spieth settled for second with a 135 after a 68 while Gavin Hall of New York took the No. 3 spot, also with a 135 after firing a record 10-under 62.
“He struggled with his irons early, missed two short par putts and went two over after just 6 holes. But I told him that he didn’t have to shoot a low round but just to play steady and make it to match play,” said ICTSI team coach Bong
Lopez, who acted as Puyat’s caddie for the second straight day.
Puyat quickly settled down and rebounded with back-to-back birdies from No. 10, dropped a stroke on No. 15 but made a two-putt birdie on the par-5 17th for that 72 after missing a five-foot putt for birdie on the final hole.
“He is hitting the ball well but he has to improve on his putting, which is the key to his title bid here,” said Lopez.
Meanwhile, Chihiro Ikeda heads a four-player ICTSI squad in the 108th Women’s North & South Amateur Championship which starts Wednesday at the Pinehurst No. 2 course, also in North Carolina.
Ikeda actually barely made it to the match play with a 30th place finish after a 79 while Bambee de la Paz shot a 75 to finish joint third. The US-based Cyna Rodriguez, the reigning RP Ladies Open champion, and Mia Piccio gained exemption for making it to the top 30 college ranking.(pr)

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