July 14, 2005
Even though the collegiate golf season is still several months away, three Florida State University golfers are making a name for competing against some of the world’s best players during the summer.
On the men’s side, sophomore Song Jeon (Seoul, Korea) and incoming freshman Matt Savage (Louisville, Ky.) are representing the Seminoles in the 2005 U.S. Amateur Public Links Tournament being played at Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon, Ohio. Savage and Jeon both shot exceptionally well in stroke play and advanced to match play. In stroke play, Savage tied for eighth out of the 156 golfers, finishing at even par. Jeon tied for 17th finishing just three over par.
The regulation 18 holes wasn’t enough for Jeon to get into the next round so he extended his match with Eric Riehle of Hemet, Calif. Jeon was one up going into the final hole, but Riehle birdied 18 to send the match into sudden death. The two players were all square through the first four extra holes, including a pair of birdies on number three, but Jeon broke the tie when he pared the par-three fifth, while Riehle bogeyed.
In his first round match, Savaged was paired up against Jonathan Pauli of St. Johns, Michigan. After a tight battle, where there were four lead changes, Savage went on to defeat Pauli one up and advance to the next round of play. Savage took control of the match with a birdie on 17 while equaling Pauli with a par on 18 to secure the win.
Savage tees off in the round of 32 on Thursday against Scott Aker of Springfield, Ohio at 7:48 a.m. Jeon is set for an 8:15 a.m. tee time against Rory Hie of Lakewood, Calif. Should things work out, the two Seminoles could face each other in the semifinals at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.
On the women’s side, Jaclyn Burch is competing in the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Tournament being played at Swope Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City, Mo. Burch finished better than 64 golfers in stroke play, but was just two strokes shy of missing the cut.
The men’s tournament, which began in 1922, gives public-course golfers an opportunity to compete against other amateurs nationwide. The women’s tournament began in 1977 and initially the organizers were worried about attracting players, but astonishingly enough the first tournament there were 686 female golfers registered to compete.
The Public Links Tournament acts as a catapult for future golfing success. U.S. Open champions Ed Furgol, Tommy Bolt, and Ken Venturi; British Open champion Tony Lema; PGA champions Dave Marr and Bobby Nichols; and Masters winner George Archer have all competed in the Links Tournament before going on to compete professionally. In 2003, Michelle Wie was the U.S. Women’s Public Links Champion.