Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Perico, Oliva Pinto advance to round of 32 at U.S. Amateur
Julian Perico of Arkansas hits Friday, May 24, 2019, onto the 16th green during the first day of play in the Men's NCAA Golf Championships at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville.
Arkansas golfer Julian Perico showed his match play mettle once again on Wednesday by pulling away late against Andres Schonbaum to advance to the round of 32 at the U.S. Amateur championship.
Perico won four of the last seven holes to close out Schonbaum, a senior at Jacksonville (Ala.) State at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.
Perico, the No. 9 seed after stroke play, fell behind by one hole with a bogey on hole No. 3, but immediately gained it back with a par 4 on the next hole. Schonbaum, the No. 56 seed, went back ahead on the 5th hole and maintained his 1-up lead through the turn.
That’s when Perico took over.
The junior from Peru birdied the par-4 10th hole to even the match, then carded back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 to take a two-hole lead. Perico closed out the match when Schonbaum bogeyed the 16th.
Perico has 17 birdies through his first 52 holes at the championship. He will face Tyler Strafaci, a senior at Georgia Tech, in the morning round of 32.
Arkansas' Segundo Oliva Pinto joined Perico in the round of 32 by winning in dramatic fashion on Wednesday.
Oliva Pinto tied his match against John Gough with a birdie at No. 17 on the Bandon Dunes Course, then won it with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 19th hole at the Bandon Trails Course.
Oliva Pinto, a junior transfer from North Carolina-Wilmington, salvaged the victory after going 13 consecutive holes without a win. The native of Argentina started hot by winning the first three holes of the match against Gough, a senior at North Carolina-Charlotte. Oliva Pinto birdied Nos. 1 and 3 and won with a par 3 on the 2nd hole.
However, Gough grinded his way back into the match with wins on Nos. 4, 7 and 11, then took the lead with a 3 on the par-3 12th. Gough maintained the one-hole lead through the 16th before Oliva Pinto’s late run.
Oliva Pinto, the No. 40 seed, will take on No. 8 seed McClure Meissner of SMU in a morning round on Thursday. If they both win in the morning, Oliva Pinto and Perico would face each other in the round of 16 scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
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