Hardy falls in Western Amateur Round of 16
Friday, August 4, 2017 at 1:29PM
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Writing from Glencoe, Illinois

Friday, August 4, 2017

It was a morning for hot chocolate, hand warmers and surprises in the 115th Western Amateur’s Round of 16 at Skokie Country Club.

Down went Nick Hardy, the local favorite, 7 and 5 to Min Woo Lee of Perth, Australia, whose home is 10,945 miles from Glencoe.

Down went Ruben Sondjaha, falling 4 and 3 to Derek Bard, who was runner up to Bryson DeChambeau in the 2015 U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields.

Down went Brad Dalke, whose solid play put Oklahoma over the top at the NCAA Championship at Rich Harvest Farms. He lost 2 and 1 to Joaquin Niemann, the 18-year-old from Santiago, Chile. Niemann rallied to win the 17th hole with a birdie after squandering most of a 5-up lead by losing four straight holes.

However, medalist Norman Xiong of Canyon Lake, Calif., came through, scoring a 3 and 2 victory over 2015 champion Dawson Armstrong of Brentwood, Tenn.

In other matches:

• Long-hitting Cameron Champ of Sacramento, Calif., took the measure of Lee Hodges of Elkmont, Ala., 3 and 2.

• In the battle for the Southern Cross, Nike Voke of Auckland, New Zealand knocked off Dylan Perry of Aberdeen, Australia, 5 and 4.

• Doc Redman of Raleigh, N.C., scored a 1-up victory over William Gordon of Davidson, N.C., sinking a 30-footer for birdie from off the green after being 2 down with seven holes to play.

• Brendon Jelley of Tulsa, Okla., beat John Pak of Scotch Plains, N.J., 2 up.

The loss of Hardy, the Northbrook lad entering his senior year at Illinois, eliminated the last local player from the festivities. He fell by the largest margin in any round since Nathan Smith dropped Chad Poling, 7 and 6, in the 2004 Round of 16.

Lee birdied the first extra hole (Skokie’s par-3 ninth) Friday morning to advance to the Sweet Sixteen; Niemann and Armstrong advanced with pars on the second extra hole (the par-4 first), eliminating Mason Overstreet, who bogeyed.

The quarterfinal pairings:

Xiong vs. Pak; Yoke vs. Bard; Niemann vs. Champ; Lee vs. Redman.

Tim Cronin

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