Field cut to low 44 and ties for final 36 holes of stroke play
By MATT HARNESS
CARMEL, Ind. (July 29, 2020) – It was hard to tell where Kyle Hogan, of Lubbock, Texas, stood during the second round of the 118th Western Amateur at Crooked Stick Golf Club on Wednesday.
His body language didn’t suggest he was on his way to a tournament-low, 6-under 66. But the even-keeled Hogan, a redshirt senior at Texas Tech, surged to the top of the leaderboard and is tied for first with Turk Pettit, of Sugar Grove, North Carolina, at 8 under. They are one stroke clear of three players.
Although Hogan carded five birdies and an eagle, he said he respects Crooked Stick’s dangerous Pete Dye-designed layout.
“There are no easy holes out there,” Hogan said. “You have to work for everything and constantly keep grinding.”
Making his Western Amateur debut, Hogan shot 70 on Tuesday, a round in which he hit two balls into water hazards.
“I was more comfortable and trusted myself more” on Wednesday, he said. “If you can hit some fairways and give yourself short irons into greens, you can score a little bit.”
Pettit, a senior at Clemson, had six birdies to post his second consecutive 68. He’s trying to make the match play portion of the championship for the second time in two appearances.
“It was pretty similar to (the first round), but I hit it a little better,” Pettit said.
Western Amateur rookies Sam Bennett, of Madisonville, Texas, Joseph Pagdin, of Sheffield, England, and Matthias Schmid, of Maxhuette, Germany, are tied for third place at 7 under.
Pagdin, a freshman at Florida, birdied five of his last 10 holes and has 11 in 36 holes.
“I didn’t get off to the best start, hitting some loose shots and making mistakes,” he said. “But I drained some good putts and got on a roll. I’m happy with my round, but I could have gotten more out of it. I love the course. It can bite you when it wants, but it also rewards good shots.”
After a self-described subpar college season, Schmid, a senior at Louisville, said his game has heated up this summer. He has eight birdies and two eagles — both on the par-5 11th — in two rounds.
“I played pretty nice, and I hit the ball very well,” Schmid said. “But I made a couple of really stupid bogeys, which shouldn’t happen.”
Bennett, a junior at Texas A&M, shot himself into contention by making six birdies during a seven-hole stretch from Nos. 9-15 to post 68. He has 11 birdies in two rounds.
Three players share sixth at 6 under, including 2017 Western Junior champion William Mouw, of Chino, California, and last year’s U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree, of Little Rock, Mississippi.
The field was cut to the low 44 and ties after two rounds. A total of 46 players finished even par or better and will play 36 holes Thursday, with the top 16 advancing to match play Friday. Parker Gillam, of Cary, North Carolina, and Jamie Li, of Bath, England, each shot 69 to make the cut on the number.
Defending champion Garrett Rank, of Ontario, Canada, finished 3 over after rounds of 74-73.
This is the first time since 1951 that one of the world’s oldest and most storied amateur golf championships is being played in the state of Indiana. South Bend Country Club hosted that year’s Western Amateur, which was won by famed golfer Frank Stranahan. The Western Amateur has never been played in the Indianapolis area.
Crooked Stick has hosted several elite golf championships, including the 2012 BMW Championship won by Rory McIlroy and the 2016 BMW Championship won by Dustin Johnson.
Crooked Stick also has been a supporter of the Evans Scholars Foundation, a nonprofit established by the Western Golf Association that has awarded full tuition and housing college scholarships to more than 11,000 caddies since 1930.
Twenty-four of those caddies were from Crooked Stick, including Joe Conway, who is currently enrolled at Purdue University.