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Chang wins and advances at U.S. Amateur

Posted: August 13, 2014 10:41 p.m.
Updated: August 13, 2014 10:41 p.m.

Jonathan Chang smiles after winning his match on the 16th hole during the first round of match play at the 2014 U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga. on Wednesday.

While Valencia graduate Jonathan Chang has admitted this week that he’s playing some of the most important rounds of golf of his life, it doesn’t appear from the outside that he’s the least bit intimidated by the moment.

Chang knocked off 23-year-old Canadian up-and-comer Taylor Pendrith 4-and-2 in the first round of match play in the U.S. Amateur Championship on Wednesday in Johns Creek, New York.

Playing in his first U.S. Amateur, widely regarded as the top amateur golf tournament in the world, Chang now moves onto the round of 32 after the event began with a whopping 312 players.

On the Atlanta Athletic Club Highlands Course, the 20-year-old Rutgers sophomore trailed Pendrith by two holes early in the round, but he quickly played his way back into the match and eventually ran away with the victory.

The match was all square until the 11th hole when Chang took the lead with a birdie on the par-5 12th. The two players tied the next hole and then Chang rattled off three wins in a row on 14, 15 and 16 to clinch the match.

Pendrith is the 45th ranked amateur in the world and he recently finished a playing career at Kent State University.

Chang is a virtual no-name on the amateur circuit given his limited tournament experience. And yet he made the 36-hole cut on Tuesday after finishing two rounds of stroke play 1-over, which was tied for 43rd place.

The underdog story continues today when Chang faces Denny McCarthy at 7:15 a.m. Pacific Time in the round of 32. McCarthy is a senior at the University of Virginia and he’s the 36th ranked amateur in the world.

If Chang wins, he’ll move on to the final 16 which will also be played today. Coverage of the event can be viewed on the Golf Channel from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The championship match will be held Sunday and it will be shown on NBC.


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