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Chang makes cut at U.S. Amateur

Posted: August 12, 2014 10:23 p.m.
Updated: August 12, 2014 10:23 p.m.
 

When Jonathan Chang rolled in a birdie putt on his final hole of the day, the Valencia graduate had a good feeling it

was going to put him securely above the cutline of the U.S. Amateur Championship on Tuesday at Johns Creek, Ga.
He was right.

Chang carded a round of 1-over 72 on the Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands Course, which put him his two-day score at 1-over 144 and tied for 43rd place in a massive field of 312 competitors split between two courses.

“It was not a gimme, but I definitely had a pretty good stroke on it,” Chang said of his putt to finish the round, which he estimated at 12-15 feet.

The 20-year-old Rutgers University sophomore will be one of the top 64 finishers to move on to the match-play tournament, which begins today.

It’s Chang’s first time playing the U.S. Amateur.

West Ranch graduate and Long Beach State junior J.J. Holen was also playing the event this week, but he’ll be left out of the final 64 after he came in with a 7-over 150.

That ended up being five strokes off the projected cut.

The co-medalists at the end of 36 holes of stroke play were Lee McCoy and Taylor Moore, who both finished 8-under.

Holen carded a 77 on Monday at the par-72 Riverside Course and followed with a 73 on the par-71 Highlands Course on Tuesday.

For Chang, he played a steady round at the Riverside Course on Monday with just one birdie and one bogey for an even-par 72.

On Tuesday, Chang had a 10th tee start and he had to rally for two birdies on his final five holes to offset three bogeys on the day.

He gave credit to his swing coach Mel Blasberg, who has also been his caddie this week.

“Having his expertise kind of guide me through what to do and how to approach it probably calmed my nerves just enough to get an edge on these guys,” Chang said.

Next up is today’s match against Canada’s Taylor Pendrith at 10:20 a.m. Pacific Time.

Chang said he has plenty of experience in match play, but nothing on this kind of stage.

“Nothing really new, but honestly this is the U.S. Am so it’s definitely going to be the biggest match play tournament I’ve ever experienced,” he said.

Instead, Chang can sleep easy knowing he’s set to face Canada’s Taylor Pendrith at 10:20 a.m. Pacific Time.

The event will be televised on the Golf Channel from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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