U.S. Open qualifier Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo, Calif., was defeated, while two of the stroke-play medalists, Jim Lui, the 2010 champion from Smithtown, N.Y., and Nicolas Echavarria of Colombia, advanced to the third round of match play on Thursday morning at the U.S. Junior Amateur being conducted at the 7,125-yard, par-72 Golf Club of New England.
Lui, 16, defeated James Riley of Hattiesburg, Miss., 15, 2 and 1, in a hard-fought encounter featuring 13 birdies. Echavarria defeated Jake Shuman, of Needham, Mass., 4 and 3.
Hossler, 17, lost to Andrej Bevins, 17, an incoming high school senior from Elk Grove, Calif., 4 and 2.
Bevins was 3 up on the 15th green and Hossler faced a 4-foot birdie putt to win the hole. He sailed the putt 3 feet past the hole and missed it coming back to make bogey. The hole was halved. Bevins birdied the par-4 16th hole to end the match.
"I just didn’t play well enough," said Hossler, who fell in the quarterfinals last year. "Andrej played great. I left a lot out there, there’s no doubt."
Liu, who two years ago at the age of 14 became the youngest Junior Amateur champion, and Riley, a first-time USGA championship participant, each performed like veterans.
"It was a tough match," said Liu. "We both played really well. I had seven birdies and was seven under and I only won on the 17th hole."
Riley’s birdie on the first hole gave him a 1-up advantage until Liu birdied the fourth. They matched birdies at the fifth and Liu went 1 up with a par on the sixth hole, where Riley made his only bogey of the day.
At the turn, Liu was 2 up. Riley won the 10th hole with another birdie and they halved the 11th with birdies. Riley’s birdie won the 13th and Liu’s margin was cut to one hole. He won the 16th with a birdie against Riley’s par to go 2 up. Fittingly, the match ended, 2 and 1, when both birdied the par-3 17th hole.
"It was really a good match," Liu said. "I putted well this morning and I’ll try to keep the momentum going."
Echavarria, a semifinalist in 2011, was 2 up after nine holes. He went 4 up at the 14th hole with a par, and eventually won on the 15th green when he matched Shuman’s par.
Joo-Young Lee, of Hilliard, Ohio, defeated the other stroke-play tri-medalist Shintaro Ban, of San Jose, Calif., 4 and 2. Ban made the turn with a 1-up lead, but three bogeys coming in cost him the match.
"Today, nothing really went well and Joo-Young really played well," Ban said.
Rhonda Glenn is a manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.