Two American-based Aussies are left flying the flag after yet another tumultuous US Amateur day at Pinehurst.
Day three began with the completion of the delayed round two of stroke play, ventured into a marathon three-hour playoff that shoe-horned 27 contestants into the final three match play contestants and ended with a massive shock.
Through it all, Florida-based West Australian Karl Vilips and Nevada-based Queenslander Jack Trent stood tall and advanced to the round of 32 tomorrow morning.
Vilips, 17, whose spectacular second-round course record-equalling 65 a day earlier gave him the No.22 seed, downed Jansen Smith 2&1 in a tense battle on Pinehurst No.2.
The reigning Youth Olympic champion was never headed by the Texan, who twice drew level on the back nine before a stirring finish by Vilips saw him off.
With par winning a majority of holes, Vilips critically played holes 13-16 one under to ensure he stayed alive in his third tilt at golf’s most prestigious amateur crown.
Trent, 20, a rising junior at the University of Las Vegas Nevada, has gone largely under the radar to this point, but might struggle for future anonymity after bundling out No.9 seed Ryan Gerard of nearby Raleigh.
The towering sociology major used all his nouse after trailing early to not lose a hole after the fifth in an impressive 4&3 victory.
These wins were posted not long before the biggest upset of the week with No.1 seed and red-hot Brandon Wu dumped 2-up by fellow American Austin Squires.
Earlier, Squires had been the last man through from the epic 27-person playoff to pinch the No.64 seed.
Squires made a par up the fourth hole of the playoff to eliminate the two remaining players, including New South Welshman Jordie Garner.
Garner had been stoic in making pars on the first and second holes, then made a clutch sand save for birdie on the third to stay alive, but a pulled drive up the 18th on Pinehurst No.4 ultimately proved his undoing.
His state teammate and No.16 seed Blake Windred was another to fall victim to an upset, sent packing 3&1 by American John Pak.
Windred had been 3-up through five and seemingly in control before Pak turned in arguably the longest extended stretch of great golf on the No.2 course all week, playing holes 6-17 four under and without a bogey.
“I’m disappointed, but I played great golf today,” an upbeat Windred said.
“I shot even par around this course and still got beat.
“John just played really great golf. He would’ve beaten most people today.”
Earlier, Victorian David Micheluzzi, the world No.3 couldn’t pull off the miracle he needed with one hole to complete his second round, missing the playoff by two strokes.