BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- Ryan Moore hails from Washington
state and plays collegiate golf in Nevada, but he said a move to
the Great Lakes State isn't out of the question.
Moore won last month's U.S. Amateur Public Links championship,
which was played at The Orchards in Macomb County's Washington
And on Wednesday, the sophomore at UNLV advanced to the round of
32 at the U.S. Amateur at nearby Oakland Hills with a 3 and 2
victory over Jeff Nielson.
Asked if Michigan would be his favorite state if he still was
playing at the U.S. Amateur this weekend, Moore, of Puyallup,
Wash., joked: "I think I'll be moving here, definitely, yeah.
"The people are nice, and like I said, I played pretty well
here, so I hope to keep it up.''
Moore trailed for the first 10 holes against Nielson, of
Gresham, Ore., before pulling to all square at the 11th. He then
won Nos. 12, 14 and 15 and halved the 16th to take the match.
No male player has ever won the Public Links and the Amateur in
the same year, although Billy Mayfair did it in consecutive
seasons. The closest was Smiley Quick, who won the Public Links in
1946 before falling to Ted Bishop in a 37-hole Amateur final two
Also advancing Wednesday were Henry Liaw and Charlie Beljan --
who in most states are barely old enough to drive and not yet
eligible to drink or vote.
Liaw, 16, eliminated Chen-Chih Chiang, of Taiwan, 3 and 2.
Beljan, 17, defeated Anthony Kim, of La Quinta, Calif., 1-up.
Liaw, of Rowland Heights, Calif., won the 2001 U.S. Junior
Amateur in San Antonio, and Beljan won this year's Junior Amateur
By winning the Junior Amateur, Beljan earned an exemption into
this year's field of 312, which was cut to 64 after two days of
Beljan, of Mesa, Ariz., squeaked into the field of 64 after
qualifying late Tuesday on the first playoff hole, while Liaw
earned the 26th seed with even-par play through the first two days.
After two rounds of match play on Thursday, the field will
dwindle to eight. Match play continues Friday and Saturday, and
culminates with Sunday's 36-hole final.
The 102nd champion will join past winners Tiger Woods, Phil
Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Bobby Jones.
Liaw said the South Course at Oakland Hills -- dubbed "the
Monster'' by Ben Hogan and known for its ultra-challenging greens --
played up to its reputation on Wednesday.
"You're really grinding out there on every hole,'' said Liaw,
the youngest player in the match-play segment of the championship.
"You can't stick with one game plan. You have to play the course
the way it's set up, even if that's not the way you like to play.''
Top seed Bill Haas, son of longtime PGA Tour pro Jay Haas,
advanced with a 1-up win over Lee Williamson.
Haas, of Greer, S.C., shot a 68 Tuesday to earn medalist honors
at 5-under 135 but had a tough time shaking Williamson, a senior at
Purdue who needed seven playoff holes to advance to Wednesday's
The two were all square after 17 holes, but Williamson faltered
on the par-4, 462-yard 18th, landing his tee shot in the rough on
the edge of a fairway bunker.
After taking four shots to reach the green and Haas within 10
feet of the cup after two strokes, Williamson, of Crawfordsville,
Ind., conceded the match.
"Lee was a tough matchup as the 64th seed,'' said Haas, a
junior at Wake Forest. "He's one of the five best college players
in the country.''
Two others with familial ties to professional golf played their
way into Thursday.
Kevin Stadler of Englewood, Colo., son of PGA Tour pro Craig
Stadler, defeated Chris Davis, of Sour Lake, Texas, 4 and 3. Daniel
Summerhays, nephew of Senior PGA Tour pro Bruce Summerhays,
advanced with a 2 and 1 win over Kirk Satterfield, of Bluefield,
Stadler, who is playing in his second U.S. Amateur, said his
expectations aren't terribly high.
"I would love to win as I'm sure anybody else here would,'' the
22-year-old senior at USC said. "But I can't say I came here
expecting to do anything drastic like that.''
The U.S. Amateur winner will get his name on the Havemeyer
Trophy and if he remains an amateur, receives an automatic berth in
the next U.S. Open and traditionally has been invited to play in
the following Masters.