NORMAN, Okla. Oklahoma junior Anthony Kim advanced to the second round of match play at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Shaker Run Golf Course in Lebanon, Ohio.
Kim (La Quinta, Calif.), who was the tournament’s stroke-play medalist, defeated Ki Moon (Ellicott, Md.), 1 up, after 18 holes of match play in the round of 64 on Wednesday.
“My play was pretty spotty today,” Kim said. “I’m a little worn out from playing 18 holes when I didn’t have to, but a win’s and win no matter the score and I’m happy to move on.”
Oklahoma senior Justin Fraley (Rowlett, Texas) was eliminated from the tournament after losing to Wichita State’s Judd Easterling, 1 up.
Kim maintained at least a one-hole lead through the final eight holes with the Sooner’s birdie on the par-3 11th, ending a back-and-forth tussle with Moon’s one-hole lead that occurred over the front of the course.
“I was rooting for Justin the whole way,” Kim, who, in the pair ahead of Fraley and Easterling, saw most of his match, said. “I really wanted to play him tomorrow. He’s a great competitor and I know his strengths and weaknesses. I think it would have been really fun.”
Fraley came back from 2 down after two holes with a birdie on the par-4 10th and maintained an all-square score until a bogey on 17 cost him the match with Easterling.
Kim and Easterling will meet in the round of 32 and are schedule to tee off at 6:30 a.m. CT, Thursday.
The two are familiar with each other. Easterling denied Kim one of two individual qualifying spots for the NCAA National Championships when the Shocker beat him by one stroke at the Central Regional.
“We’ve played against each other a few times this season,” Kim said. “But, whenever you get into the rivalry stuff it always hurts your game a little. There’s definitely a bit there, for sure. But, I’m still expecting to beat him if I just play a decent round.”
Two rounds of 18-hole match play will be played Thursday to decide the final eight players that will advance to Friday's quarterfinals and semifinals. The 36-hole championship round will be played Saturday.