By Ryan Herrington
__BROOKLINE, Mass.—__Beggars can't be choosers, so you take a win any way you can get it during match play at the U.S. Amateur. However, on the lone day at The Country Club when two matches are scheduled, if you can close out the first one a tad bit early, well, that works pretty nicely thank you very much.
The majority of the winners second-round matches Thursday morning seemed to take that philosophy to heart. Just two of the 16 matches got to the 18th hole with five matches closed out on the 15th and three more finishing on the 16th hole.
England's__Neil Raymond__, co-medalist and the only mid-amateur left in the field, continued his nice run in the U.S. with a 2-and-1 victory over__Zachary Olsen__. All square through eight holes, the 27-year-old Raymond won three of the next four holes to take command of the match and ultimately advance to the third round where he'll face__Nathan Holman__ in the Thursday afternoon.
The other co-medalist, Brady Watt of Australia, had a similar low-stress second-round victory, knocking off Georgia Tech's Seth Reeves, 3 and 2. Watt took the lead on the first hole and never relinquished it, stretching it to 5 up after 10 holes as he birdied Nos. 2, 6 and 10. He next faces__Charlie Hughes__, a rising senior at Washington.
Also victorious was__Gavin Hall__, a 2013 U.S. Open participant who starts college this fall at Texas, who defeated Walker Cup hopeful Bobby Wyatt, 4 and 2. Hall advanced to the third round, where he'll compete against another incoming college freshman,Matt Fitzpatrick. The 18-year-old Englishman who starts at Northwestern next month beat__Blake Morris__, 4 and 3, in the second round and continued a impressive summer that included winning low amateur honors at last month's British Open.
Wyatt wasn't the only golfer on the short list under consideration for one of the five remaining spots on the U.S. Walker Cup to bow out Thursday morning.Brandon Hagy, a semifinalist in last year's U.S. Amateur, had a 2-up lead through 13 holes but couldn't hang on as he fell to U.S. Junior champion__Scottie Scheffler__ in 20 holes.
Eight of the 16 second-round matches were won by international players.
On the line this afternoon, aside from keeping your hopes alive for the ultimately prize, the Havemeyer Trophy, is a automatic spot into the 2014 U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club. Those who advance to the quarterfinals this week are exempt into next year's championship.
__U.S. Amateur Championship
__Neil Raymond df. Zachary Olsen, 2 and 1
Nathan Holman, df. Blair Hamilton, 4 and 3
Corey Conners df. Bryson Dechambeau, 2 and 1
Patrick Rodgers df. Greg Eason, 3 and 2
Chelso Barrett df. Justin Shin, 4 and 3
Adam Ball df. Max Orrin, 2 and 1
Matt Fitzpatrick df. Blake Morris, 4 and 3
Gavin Hall df. Bobby Wyatt, 4 and 2
Brady Watt df. Seth Reeves, 3 and 2
Charlie Hughes df. Sebastian Cappelen, 4 and 3
Matthias Schwab df Zac Blair 2 and 1
Scottie Scheffler df. Brandon Hagy, 20 holes
Oliver Goss df Carr Vernon, 1 up
Scott Wolfes df. Xander Schauffele, 2 and 1
Charlie Danielson df. Chase Koepka, 3 and 1
Brandon Matthews df. Gavin Green, 4 and 3