Three Tigers Advance to U.S. Amateur Match Play

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
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Three Tigers Advance to U.S. Amateur Match Play

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Senior Brandon Pierce and sophomores Sam Burns and Luis Gagne each took a step closer to the Havemeyer Trophy in Tuesday’s second round of stroke play at Oakland Hills Country Club as each finished among the Top 64 and advanced to match play at the 116th United States Amateur Championship.

Gagne, a 2016 PING Honorable Mention All-American, was the top Tiger in 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying after finishing in a five-way tie for sixth place at 3-under par in a field of more than 300 of the world’s leading amateur golfers. Gagne followed his 2-under 68 on the North Course on Monday with a 1-under 69 on the South Course on Tuesday to earn the No. 10 seed in match play.

The Orlando, Florida, native will face No. 55 seed and University of Hartford standout Paul Pastore in the first round of match play on Wednesday as their match is set to begin at 10:40 a.m. CT.

Burns will be the first Tiger on the course in Wednesday’s match play as he tees off at 9 a.m. as the No. 29 seed against No. 36 seed Santiago Gomez of Nova Southeastern University. Burns secured the No. 29 seed for match play as one of 11 players in the field to crack the Top 20 in a tie for 19th place on the final leaderboard at 1-under par in two rounds. He matched Gagne’s 2-under 68 in Monday’s opening round on the North Course with one of his own before finishing with a 1-over 71 in the second round on Tuesday.

Also a 2016 PING Honorable Mention All-American following an outstanding freshman season, Burns advanced to match play at the U.S. Amateur Championship for the first time in his second appearance in the event.

Joining his LSU teammates in the match play field is Pierce, who fired rounds of even-par 70 on the North Course on Monday and 1-over 71 on the South Course on Tuesday to tie for 41st place overall at 1-over par 141. That performance earned Pierce the No. 54 seed in match play as he will take on Vanderbilt All-American and No. 11 seed Matthias Schwab at 11:40 a.m. CT on Wednesday.

The South Course at Oakland Hills Country Club, which also played host to the 2004 Ryder Cup, will be the site of the 64-man match play tournament at the 116th U.S. Amateur Championship. The winner of the coveted Havemeyer Trophy will be crowned in the championship match on Sunday.