Andrew Ward said his goal was to get past the first two days of the U.S. Amateur. And even though it took a rain delay to accomplish, that didn't dampen his spirits Tuesday.
After a four-hour rain delay pushed back his already late start time, the 18-year-old Clover High graduate was only able to get four holes in of his second round at Erin Hills. Ward made par on the first three holes, including a 615-yard par-5, but three-putted for a bogey on the fourth, leaving him 1-over for the day at 7-over for the tournament. He shot a 6-over 76 in his first round at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club Monday.
The top 64 players in the 315-man field advance to match play. Last year's cut line was 6-over, but even par is tied for 62nd at the suspension of play Tuesday. That means Ward would have to put on an incredible display this morning when he finishes his final 14 holes, but the experience has already been an incredible one for the 18-year-old who's headed back to USC Aiken when he returns home.
"I know that of the two courses, Erin Hills was definitely the tougher one," Ward said. "When I get back out there in the morning, my goal is to just play betetr than I did in the first round, and have a positive finish."
He's already ahead of the game for his second round. Monday, he bogeyed five of his first seven holes. Tuesday, his biggest challenge was filling the hours, since the delay meant he didn't tee off until 6 p.m. He spent as much time practicing as he could bear, but also checked in with his college classes which started last week, to make sure he wasn't too far behind when he returned.
"Yeah, today was tough, a lot of waiting," Ward said. "Looking forward to getting back out and playing tomorrow and seeing what happens."
The 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Sunday.