Video Game Sh-t
U.S. Am competitor gets screwed by flagstick, promptly holes out his VERY next iron shot
One of the many great aspects of match play is that all conventional stroke-play wisdom goes out the window, especially when a match gets tight. You can take chances you'd otherwise never take, which, naturally, come with both risk and reward.
The perfect example of this came late in a Round of 16 match in the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills between China's Paul Chang and Auburn senior John Marshall Butler. Standing on the par-3 15th tee, Chang and Butler were all tied up. Chang, who had the honor, took dead aim at the flagstick on the 143-yard hole, literally. His tee shot struck the pin on the fly and ricocheted all the way off the front of the green, eventually coming to rest about 20 yards away. Brutal
Chang, displaying some serious grit, managed to halve the hole with a par, then split the fairway at the 460-yard par-4 16th. On his very next iron shot after rattling one off the flagstick at 15, Chang holed out for eagle. A level of pin-seeking that could only be achieved in EA Sports Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005. Thankfully, somebody on Twitter spliced both iron shots together to show how insane of a two-hole stretch this was from Chang:
The insane eagle hole out gave Chang a 1 up lead with just two to play, but he promptly gave it back on the 17th, Butler making a birdie to square the match. They tied on 18 in near-darkness before play was stopped, meaning the match will now pour over into Friday morning. Chang and Butler will begin the first playoff hole on Friday at 8 a.m. local time.
Making Chang's heroics all the more impressive is his unbelievable backstory. The University of Virginia junior only took up golf within the last six years and he's currently unranked in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Now, he's one more good hole away from advancing to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur. It's movie-script material.