Won four of first six holes to cruise to 7 and 6 victory
TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Former University of Arizona men's golfer Chris Nallen advanced to the second round of match play at the 2004 United States Amateur Championship with a 7 and 6 victory Wednesday at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
A native of Hackettstown, N.J., Nallen defeated Ryota Ito of Japan, 7 and 6, to advance to the second round of match play on Thursday. Seeded 10th after stroke play, Nallen comfortably defeated the 55th-seeded Ito by never trailing in the match. He opened the match by winning four of the first six holes and held that same 4-up lead through nine holes. Nallen strung together birdies on holes 10-12 to claim the final margin of victory.
“I played pretty solid today,” Nallen told the United States Golf Association following the match. “I was real happy with it. I got off to a little shaky start but my putter kept me in it. I just gained a little bit more confidence. I made some good swings and just tried to repeat them.”
Nallen will face Anthony Kim of Norman, Okla., in Thursday's second round. The match is scheduled to begin at 9:20 a.m. EDT.
Nallen qualified for match play after posting a 73-71=144 (+4) during the stroke play portion on Monday and Tuesday. He tied for eighth place among the Amateur's 311 qualifiers. UA teammate Nick Juszczak also participated in the U.S. Amateur (his first career appearance), but did not qualify for match play after shooting a 78-75=155 (+15) to tie for 139th place during stroke play.
The 104th U.S. Amateur continues through Sunday at Winged Foot Golf Club, a par 70, 7,266-yard layout