Wu locks up U.S. Amateur medal; Match-play bracket yet to be finalized

Brandon Wu shot 2-over 72 on a difficult Pinehurst No. 2 layout Tuesday to lock up medalist honors at the 119th U.S. Amateur. However, Wu will have to wait until Wednesday to officially receive his medal.

Play was suspended for darkness Tuesday evening, the result of a 1-hour, 21-minute weather delay earlier in the afternoon. Fifty players will return at 7:20 Wednesday morning to finish their rounds, but none of them are within three shots of Wu's 3-under 137 total.

Wu opened his week with a 5-under 65 on course No. 4 before taking on No. 2, which so far has played more than three shots tougher (77.04, +7.04). On Tuesday, the 22-year-old Stanford grad failed to card a birdie, but he also managed to make 16 pars.

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“Toward the back nine today was definitely tough, just because No. 2 is such a mental grind, as well,” Wu said. “You’re trying to hit perfect shots on every hole just to maybe have a look at birdie, so that was kind of wearing down, and it was getting hot towards the end, too. Luckily I was able to finish it off, but I was definitely pretty tired.”

Should a playoff be needed to determine the top 64, it will begin after the completion of stroke play starting off the first tee of No. 4. The Round of 64 will begin at 10 a.m. off the first tee of No. 2.

As of Tuesday night, 66 players were at 4 over or better, with 21 of those players right on the cut line. (That would mean a 21-for-19 playoff.) That group currently includes Oklahoma State's Austin Eckroat, Texas A&M grad Chandler Phillips, Florida State's John Pak, junior Akshay Bhatia, 2018 U.S. Am runner-up Devon Bling, Wake Forest grad Cameron Young, The Amateur champ James Sugrue and Pepperdine's Sahith Theegala. All but the latter two players are through 36 holes, while Sugrue and Theegala have two and three holes, respectively, to finish on No. 2.

Among the notables already secured a spot in match play: North and South Amateur champ Cooper Dossey (T-2), LSU's Philip Barbaree (T-2), Florida's Ricky Castillo (T-2), Georgia Southern grad Steven Fisk (T-9), mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad (T-12), Vanderbilt's John Augenstein (T-12), junior Karl Vilips (T-18), Oklahoma grad Brad Dalke (T-18), Coody twins Parker and Pierceson (each a T-28) and Stanford grad Isaiah Salinda.

World No. 1 Cole Hammer is 5 over with the par-18th hole to play on No. 4, and his playing competitor, world No. 3 David Micheluzzi of Australia, is 6 over and needs to hole out for eagle to get into a likely playoff – or hope that the cut moves to 5 over, which is possible and is where players such as Duke's Alex Smalley and Auburn's Jovan Rebula stand. Others have already seen their chances of advancing to match play end, including Oklahoma's Quade Cummins, Georgia's Trent Phillips, junior Michael Thorbjornsen, Arizona State's Chun An Yu, world No. 2 Conor Gough of England, Georgia Tech's Luke Schniederjans, Canada's Garrett Rank and SMU coach Jason Enloe.

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