BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Unlike a year ago, when Bryson DeChambeau won in a 7-and-6 route, it doesn’t appear there will be a runaway champion at the 116th U.S. Amateur. Not if the Sunday’s morning 18 is any indicator.
In cool, breezy conditions, Curtis Luck and Brad Dalke remained all square halfway through the 36-hole championship match at Oakland Hills Country Club. The afternoon 18 is scheduled to tee off at 2:15 p.m.
That said, the morning was a see-saw affair. Luck, a 20-year-old from Perth, Australia, won the first hole to take an early 1-up lead only to lose the third hole. Luck took back the lead two more times through the opening seven holes and extended the margin to 2 up when his two-putt par won the 11th hole.
But Dalke, a 19-year-old rising sophomore at the University of Oklahoma didn’t let Luck pull away too far. A two-putt pars on the par-3 13th and par-4 15th let Dalke square the match again. Then, on the par-4 16th, Dalke hit his approach to within five feet and holed the birdie putt to take the lead.
Luck squared things back up on the home hole, hitting the fairway and green on the 496 yard par 4, while Dalke’s approach found the bunker. When Dalke was unable to get up and down to save par, Luck’s two-putt won him the hole to dead-lock the match once again.
Shaky play tee to green cost both players. Luck hit nine of 14 fairways but only 10 of 18 greens, shooting the equivalent of three over par. Dalke hit just eight fairways and 11 greens, shooting three over as well.