EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's golf program has been well represented at the 2008 United States Amateur Public Links Championship this week at Murphy Creek Golf Course in Aurora, Colo. Rising junior Jack Newman has surprised the field and advanced to the finals, while rising senior Randy Hutchison made his way to the quarterfinals.
Newman, a second team All-Big Ten selection this past spring, was the 20th seed in the 64-player match play field, after an even par 142 (71-71) in the stroke play portion of the championship. Newman beat Ryan McDonald, 3&2 in his first round bout on Wednesday.
The Des Moines, Iowa, native followed with one of the biggest upsets of the tournament as he went 21 holes to upset Billy Horschel, a three-time All-American at Florida and the No. 2-ranked golfer in the current Golfweek/Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking, on Thursday. In his second match of the day, Newman cruied to a 5&3 win over Kelly Kretz to advance to the quarterfinals.
On Friday, Newman began with another marathon matchup, this time needing 24 holes to beat Corey Nagy, a 2007 semifinalist and 2008 All-American at Charlotte.. Coming back on short 35-minute rest, Newman took an early lead and held on for a 3&1 win over Cason Hammock.
Newman will face John Chin, the 2008 Big West Player of the Year at UC-Irvine, in Saturday's 36 hole final of the 83rd Amateur Public Links.
Meanwhile, Hutchison also had an impressive week at Murphy Creek, which played this week at 7,551 yards, the longest setup in the history of the APL. The Traverse City, Mich,. native, was the No. 40 seed after a two-over par 144 in stroke play. Hutchison, a first team All-Big Ten choice last season, began with an 1-up upset of James Dalthorp III on Wednesday and followed with two lopsided victories on Thursday. He beat Dan Whitaker, 6&5 in the morning and followed with a 7&5 victory over Andrew Paulson. However, his run ended with a 2-up loss to Newman's semifinal opponent Cason Hammock.
The winner of the 2008 APL will receive a gold medal and custody of the James D. Standish Jr. Cup for one year. In addition, they have a 10-year exemption from sectional qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, an exemption from local qualifying for the next three U.S. Open Championships, an exemption from sectional qualifying for the 2008 and 2009 U.S. Amateur, an exemption from sectional qualifying for the 2008 and 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur and a likely invitation to compete in the next Masters Tournament, if still an amateur.
For more information on the APL, visit USGA.org.