Lundell advances to round of 32 at U.S. Amateur Championship
PARAMUS, N.J. — BYU’s Carson Lundell defeated Jared Nelson of UConn 1-up to advance to the round of 32 at the 122nd U.S. Amateur Championship on Wednesday.
“I played extremely good golf today and thankfully it was enough to get the job done,” said Lundell. “I was confident in my game going in, but Jared made putts from everywhere, so I knew I had to make birdies to give myself a chance. My caddie Todd [Miller] and I stuck to the game plan, stayed patient and battled all day. It worked out in the end.”
The senior, who earned the 17th seed in the stroke-play qualifying, fell 1-down early as Nelson made birdie on the par-3 2nd hole. Over the next eight holes, every time Lundell had an opportunity to grab momentum and the lead, Nelson would eliminate that opportunity by making a clutch par-save to stay in the match.
“I've never seen somebody make so many five to 10-foot putts to stay in a match,” said BYU director of golf Todd Miller. “Jared chipped in on nine, 10 and 15 while rolling in putts with confidence all day. You really have to hand it to him, with his short game he hung in the match for a long time and gave Carson all he could handle.”
Lundell’s only hiccups came on the 12th and 13th holes. The senior's approach shot on the par-4 12th landed on the green but spun off the front edge into the thick rough, typical of a USGA Championship event. Leading 1-up, Lundell failed to get up and down which evened the match.
The Alpine, Utah, native then three-putted from the back of the green on 13 to drop a second-straight hole and go 1-down with five holes to play.
“That was a huge turning point because there really hadn’t been any momentum either way,” said Miller.
However; despite losing two holes in a row, Lundell hit his approach on the par-4 14th to 15-feet, giving himself a birdie chance to square the match.
“Carson had a putt up-and-over a ridge that could have easily run on off the green,” said Miller. “His pace on the putt was perfect as it just cleared the top of the ridge then fell over the front edge of the cup for birdie. It was a huge turning point to get back to all-square. That gave him the momentum to put the match away.”
After halving holes 15 and 16 with pars, Lundell won the par-5 17th to take a 1-up lead, when Nelson missed a six-foot par attempt. A pair of pars on the difficult par-4 18th gave Lundell a 1-up victory and earned him a spot in the round of 32.
Lundell will now take on North Carolina's Dylan Menante Thursday morning for a spot in round of 16 in the afternoon.
“I’ve played a lot of golf with Dylan and there is a reason he is one of the top amateur players in the world,” said Lundell. “We know each others games well. I know he’s going to play well, so it will be a fantastic match tomorrow.”
Menante was a two-time All-American and the two-time reigning WCC Golfer of the Year for the Pepperdine Waves before transferring to North Carolina in June. He earned back-to-back wins during the 2021-22 campaign including the 75th Western Intercollegiate where Lundell finished runner-up. Both Lundell and Menante were named first team All-WCC and GCAA Honorable Mention All-Americans in 2022.
The pair will tee off at 8:10 a.m. EDT with live scoring at USGA.org. Live coverage of the round of 32 will be streamed from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. EDT on Peacock and then switches to the Golf Channel from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. EDT.
BYU men’s golf will get its spring season underway at the 43rd Arizona Thunderbirds Intercollegiate, Jan. 30-31 at the…