The U.S. Amateur, the USGA’s oldest championship, is known as a test of fortitude, and the patience and resilience factors for the 312-player field were ramped up on Tuesday afternoon when play in the championship’s 121st edition was halted for nearly four hours by storms in the area.
The morning wave of players on both Oakmont Country Club – which is hosting the championship for a record-tying sixth time – and stroke-play co-host the Longue Vue Club were able to complete 36 holes of stroke play.
However, the 156 afternoon starters in the field will have to complete Round 2 on Wednesday, after which the 64-player bracket for match play will be decided, likely in the early afternoon. The Round of 64 will begin after a playoff, if necessary, to decide the final spots in the bracket.
Brad Reeves completed 36 holes at five-under-par 135 on Tuesday, tacking an even-par 70 at Oakmont Country Club onto the 65 he shot on Monday at Longue Vue to hold the lead among those who finished.
Cole Sherwood, who recorded the only under-par round on Oakmont on Monday, a one-under 69, added a 68 at Longue Vue and stood second among those who completed play at three-under 137.
Cooper Schultz and Hugo Townsend were next at two-under 138, while Trent Phillips and Devon Bling, the runner-up to Viktor Hovland in the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, were the only other players who finished on Tuesday to post under-par scores, at one-under 139. Donald Kay improved by 10 strokes on Tuesday at Longue Vue (75-65) and was one of three players at even-par 140.
Reeves, 23, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona, had a roller-coaster day at nine-time U.S. Open host Oakmont on Tuesday, with six pars, six birdies and six bogeys.
“It was blowing [before the delay] and there were holes that were playing ridiculously hard,” said Reeves, who was the 2021 Pacific 12 Player of the Year. “My birdie run [on Holes 4, 6 and 7] came from just trying to hit on the smart side, and if you made par, knowing that that was a really good score. I was struggling, grinding it out, but I knew everybody else was probably doing the same thing.”
Among the afternoon starters whose rounds were halted by darkness at 8pm, Mark Goetz led the way at nine-under-par. Goetz was three-under for the day through 12 holes at Oakmont (he started on No. 10) without a bogey on his card.
Jacob Bridgeman, whose seven-under 63 at Longue Vue on Monday tied the course record and gave him the Day 1 lead, was at that same figure through seven holes at Oakmont. Brian Ma was also at seven-under, having played his first four holes at Oakmont in two-under before play was halted.
Travis Vick, whose eagle on the par-5 12th at Oakmont on Tuesday helped him get to three-under through eight holes and six-under total, was joined at that mark by Joe Highsmith, of NCAA champion Pepperdine, who was even for the day at Oakmont through 10 holes after a 64 at Longue Vue on Monday.
Louis Dobbelaar is the best placed of the three Aussies in the field, the Queenslander currently inside the cut line to advance to the match play portion.
Dobbelaar was at three-over for the tournament when play was suspended. He has five holes to play at Longue Vue on Wednesday morning, and is currently three-under for his round.
Lukas Michel has his work cut out for him if he is to continue beyond the strokeplay, the Victorian at five-over for the championship and outside the cutline having played eight holes across the more difficult Oakmont.
The third Aussie, Tony Chen, was one of the group to complete both rounds and won’t be playing any further part in this year’s event. His second round 80 at Oakmont seeing him finish with a tournament total of 13-over.