No.1 seed Goetz opened match play on Wednesday evening and was tied with David Nyfjall through four holes when play was suspended at 7:50pm.

Nyfjall earned the final spot in the Round of 64 in a 12-for-1 playoff late Wednesday afternoon. Ricky Castillo, a 2021 USA Walker Cup Team member and the No.33 seed, won the lone match to finish on Wednesday evening, bolting to a 4-up lead after five holes on the way to a 5-and-4 victory over No.32 seed Donald Kay.

“I was really excited to get back out there after the weather delay,” said Castillo, who is competing in his sixth USGA championship. “I think all of us just wanted to go out and play golf and we were tired of sitting in the locker room for a few hours. Just got off to a hot start, hit a few good shots, made a few good putts, and just never looked back.”

Mark Goetz claimed medallist honours after 36 holes of strokeplay. PHOTOS: USGA.

Due to weather delays, only 18 of the 32 Round-of-64 matches started on Wednesday. Play will resume at 7:30am on Thursday.

Stroke play was delayed for nearly four hours on Tuesday afternoon by storms, and half of the 312-player field was forced to complete Round 2 on Wednesday morning. Another storm early Wednesday afternoon delayed the start of the Round of 64 for another four hours, and matches finally started at 4:30pm.

Goetz, the 2019 Western Pennsylvania Amateur champion, completed his final six holes at Oakmont on Wednesday for a two-under 68 to complement the six-under 64 he shot on Monday at Longue Vue.

The recent graduate of West Virginia University, who grew up about 30 miles from Oakmont and turned 23 on Tuesday, is competing in his third USGA championship: he missed the cut for match play in the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club and the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur at Flint Hills National.

“I’ve been waiting on this [championship] for two years now,” said Goetz, who played Oakmont about a dozen times before this week. “This has been the biggest accomplishment of my career just making it, and this is my favourite golf course on the planet. I need everything I have out here every single time I play it and it’s always a lot of fun.”

Brian Ma, a sophomore at Harvard University, earned the No.2 seed, one stroke behind Goetz at 7-under 133. Ma made six birdies in a round of two-under 68 at Oakmont after shooting 65 at Longue Vue. Michael Thorbjornsen, the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur champion and the recent Western Amateur champion, secured the No.3 seed with rounds of 65-69 for a six-under total of 134.

Ma trailed Eddy Lai 1 up, through three holes when play was halted on Wednesday. Thorbjornsen’s match against No.62 Harrison Ott is scheduled for 8:30am on Thursday.

Queenslander Louis Dobbelaar made it through to the Round of 64, avoiding the playoff for the final spot by a single shot, courtesy of his two round total of two-over-par.

Dobbelaar has his work cut out to advance further, however. The 2021 Australian Amateur champion currently 2-down through 14 holes of his match with 17th seed Ross Steelman.

Lukas Michel joined Tony Chen in bowing out of the championship at the conclusion of the strokeplay portion.