July 14, 2006
BREMERTON, Wash. –
Matt Savage, a rising sophomore at Florida State University, will begin play in the quarterfinal round of the 81st U.S. Amateur Public Links Men’s Golf Championship at the Gold Mountain Golf Club at 7:30 a.m. PST Friday morning against Kevin Larsen. It marks the second consecutive year Savage has played deep into this tournament after reaching the third round of match play in 2005. A victory against Larsen would propel Savage in the semifinal round which will also take place Friday.
The final round, which consists of 36 holes of match play to decide the national champion, is scheduled for Saturday. Match play is a competition played by holes rather than total strokes for the round. In USGA amateur Championships, two opponents play against each other and while there may be other players on the course, each group is its own match and has nothing to do with the rest of the field. The winners of each match keep advancing until there is only one player left. With 64 players, this occurs after 6 matches.
Savage (Louisville, Ky.) advanced to the quarterfinals with two victories in match play competition on Thursday. He defeated Zack Byrd (Calabash, N.C.) in a tense 20-hole match in the second round and bested Derek Berg (Duvall, Wash.) 2 and 1 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Savage is playing in his fourth career USGA event which includes two Amateur Public Links and two U.S. Junior Amateur events. He advanced to the third round of the 2005 U.S. Amateur Public Links and the second round of the 2003 U.S. Junior Am. Savage was honored with the 2006 AJGA Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award.
Savage helped lead Florida State to a 14th place finish in the NCAA East Regional Championship at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., during his freshman season. He earned four career top-20 finishes including his career-best top-10 finish at the Linger Longer Invitational during the spring of 2006. Savage’s career-best single-round score of 65 came in the third round of the NCAA East Regional. He ranked second on the team with a 73.76 stroke average in 33 rounds during 11 tournaments as a freshman.