July 14, 2005
LEBANON, OHIO –
Florida State University men’s golf coach Trey Jones has to like what he sees when he looks into the future of his program. The Seminoles were well represented at the 80th US Amateur Public Links Championships as a pair of underclassmen advanced through stroke play at the Shaker Run Golf Club.
Incoming freshman Matt Savage (Louisville, Ky.) advanced to Thursday’s (July 14) round of 16 before being stopped, while sophomore Song Jeon (Seoul, Korea) made it to the morning’s second round.
“This really helps out the program a lot,” Jones said. “There is a lot of positive word out there about our last two recruiting classes and it’s good to see them get out there and back that up. It also helps in the on-going recruiting process in that high school players and coaches are seeing that we’re getting better and recognized that we’re a program on the rise.”
To start the day in the round of 32, Savage defeated Scott Aker of Springfield, Ohio, three and two. Savage bogeyed the second hole to let Aker get up one, but quickly redeemed himself with a birdie on the fourth hole to square the match. Savage repeated the feat and birdied the fifth hole to take the lead by one.
A bogey by Savage on seven allowed Aker to temporarily tie the match, but from there Savage never again trailed. The incoming freshman went three up after another pair of back-to-back birdies on No. 14 and 15 and then pared on the 16th to go up three with only two holes remaining.
Then in the afternoon pairing, Savage took on Ryan Keeney, a senior at UNLV who finished 27th at this year’s NCAA Championships. The match was one of the best of the Championship as Savaged birdied No. 18, down a stroke, to force sudden death. After matching each other for the first three holes, the Honorable Mention All-American got the best of the future Seminoles when Savage bogeyed number four.
“It’s a great step for Mat in his progression from junior golf to amateur golf and into the collegiate level,” Jones added. “One of the uncertainties these guys face is how well they’re going to do at the next level, whether its college to pro or high school to college, so this probably eases his mind a little coming into next year. It also shows him that when his game is on, his level of competition is pretty high.”
After completing the longest match of the tournament, a 23-hole victory over Eric Riehle in the first round on Wednesday, Jeon dropped his round of 32 match three and one to Rory Hie of Lakewood, Calif. Down one through the first four holes, a double bogey by Hie tied the bout and it remained even through No. 8. Hie took control of the match with a birdie on number nine and extended it to three holes on No. 13. A birdie on number 14 got Song within two but a bogey on No. 17 cost him the match