Thomas (66) Shares First-Round Lead With Rank, Colgate July 13, 2014 By Michael Trostel, USGA

Zane Thomas shot a 5-under 66 to share the first-round lead in the APL at Sand Creek Station. (USGA/Chris Keane)

NEWTON, Kan. – Garrett Rank, Michael Colgate and Zane Thomas opened with 5-under-par 66s to set the pace in the first round of the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, being conducted at the 7,365-yard, par-71 Sand Creek Station Golf Course.

While calm conditions aided the scoring in the morning, a strong northerly breeze that gusted up to 25 miles per hour sent numbers soaring later in the day. Just five players in the 26 afternoon groupings broke par and the scoring average was more than two strokes higher in the afternoon (76.12) than in the morning (73.98).

One of those who played early, Rank used four birdies and an eagle at the 624-yard, par-5 sixth to continue his history of strong play in this championship. The 26-year-old Canadian is playing in his fifth APL, tied for most among the field of 156. He was the medalist at last year’s championship at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Lorton, Va., and is vying to become the first player in more than 20 years to earn successive medalist honors.

On Sunday, Rank finished tied for second at The Players Amateur in Bluffton, S.C., then caught a flight to Wichita that arrived after midnight. Rank drove to Sand Creek Station on Monday morning for his 8:20 starting time, and despite never having seen the course, hit all 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens en route to his 66.

I’ve been playing really well and have had a lot of really good results, said Rank, who shot a personal-best and course-record 62 in the second round of The Players Amateur. I hit a few more 3-woods and hybrids today than I normally would to keep it in play while I familiarize myself with the course and luckily, it worked.

Rank is joined at the top of the leader board by a pair of 20-year-olds, Colgate, of Sarasota, Fla., and Thomas, of Las Vegas, Nev.

Colgate shot the only bogey-free round of the day, capping it with birdies on the eighth and ninth, his closing two holes. After failing to reach match play in his first two USGA championships, Colgate is feeling much more confident at Sand Creek Station.

I wasn’t happy with how I performed in the last couple of USGA events, said Colgate, who qualified for the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 2012 U.S. Amateur and is a junior at Nebraska Kearney. But I’m really proud of the way I played today. I don’t have to worry if I make a couple of early bogeys tomorrow; I will know I am still in good shape.

Thomas is playing in his first national championship after being an alternate six to eight times, according to his estimate. He started strongly with birdies on his first two holes and five of his opening eight. After bogeys on the seventh and 13th holes, par 3s that both play more than 225 yards, he closed with birdies on 17 and 18 for seven total.

I felt good with my driver all day, which is a big help on this course, said Thomas, a junior at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. It seemed like the course was set up in preparation for a lot of wind, but at least while I was playing, it never came.

As a cold front swept in from the north in the middle of the day, gusty winds followed, frustrating and confounding players for much of the afternoon. Just seven players with afternoon starting times shot par or better, compared to 28 in the morning wave.

Even the defending champion, Oklahoma State junior Jordan Niebrugge, of Mequon, Wis., struggled with the shifting winds.

It was tough during the middle part of the round, said Niebrugge, who opened with a 74. The wind got up to probably 25-mile-an-hour gusts. You’ve got to get it in the fairway here.

Thomas Lim, 19, of Eugene, Ore., and Byron Meth, 21, of San Diego, trail the leaders by one stroke after opening 67s. Kansas residents Michael Gellerman (74), Chase Hanna (76) and Michael Greene (77) will need good rounds on Tuesday to advance to match play in their home state.

The U.S. Amateur Public Links is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. It is being contested for the final time in 2014.

Golfers will play the second round of stroke-play qualifying Tuesday. The field will then be cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which begins Wednesday. The 36-hole championship match is scheduled for Saturday.

Michael Trostel is the senior curator/historian for the USGA Museum. Email him at mtrostel@usga.org.  


Newton, Kan. – Results from the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship being played at 7,365-yard, par-71 Sand Creek Station Golf Course:

Zane Thomas, Las Vegas, Nev. 32-34--66

Michael Colgate, Sarasota, Fla. 33-33--66

Garrett Rank, Canada 34-32--66

Thomas Lim, Eugene, Ore. 33-34--67

Byron Meth, San Diego, Calif. 33-34--67

Charlie Danielson, Osceola, Wis. 36-32--68

Trent Peterson, Eagan, Minn. 36-32--68

Kolton Crawford, Mansfield, Texas 34-34--68

Rigel Fernandes, India 35-33--68

Robert Geibel, Pembroke Pines, Fla. 33-35--68

Sam Horsfield, England 33-35--68

Jonathan Woo, Singapore 35-34--69

John Oda, Honolulu, Hawaii 34-35--69

Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights, Ill. 37-32--69

Rico Hoey, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. 35-35--70

Sam Saunders, Albuquerque, N.M. 34-36--70

Nick Eberhardt, Fort Mill, S.C. 37-33--70

Cody McManus, Phoenix, Ariz. 34-36--70

Davis Hangyerei Chung, Las Cruces, N.M. 35-35--70

Ryan Tetrault, Orange, Calif. 34-36--70

Jess Bonneau, Houston, Texas 37-33--70

Chase Johnson, Barberton, Ohio 35-36--71

Colton Staggs, Tulsa, Okla. 36-35--71

David Mills, Evansville, Ind. 37-34--71

Zecheng Dou, People's Republic of China 40-31--71

Kyle Weldon, St. Louis, Mo. 37-34--71

Issei Tanabe, Japan 35-36--71

Brandon Kida, Layton, Utah 36-35--71

Matt Record, Scottsdale, Ariz. 35-36--71

Benjamin Skogen, Onalaska, Wis. 37-34--71

Kevin Reilly, Oviedo, Fla. 36-35--71

Matt Cote, Palm Harbor, Fla. 38-33--71

Austin Smotherman, Loomis, Calif. 37-34--71

Vinnie Murphy, Edgewood, Wash. 37-34--71

Easton Paxton, Riverton, Wyo. 36-35--71

Jonathan De Los Reyes, Sacramento, Calif. 35-36--71

Jay Lim, Los Angeles, Calif. 33-39--72

Cj Konkowski, West Chesterfield, N.H. 36-36--72

Steven Souchek, Columbia, Ill. 38-34--72

Nathan Clark, Charlotte, Mich. 37-35--72

Sean Knapp, Oakmont, Pa. 34-38--72

Cameron Harrell, Colorado Springs, Colo. 35-37--72

Scott Wolfes, St. Simons Island, Ga. 36-36--72

Eric Kline, Ponca City, Okla. 39-33--72

Bryson Dechambeau, Clovis, Calif. 36-36--72

Chris Korte, Littleton, Colo. 38-34--72

Aaron Flores, San Antonio, Texas 35-37--72

Chelso Barrett, Surry, N.H. 37-35--72

Alexander Dombrowski, Gaylord, Mich. 35-37--72

Steven Delmar, Gaithersburg, Md. 34-38--72

Jack Maguire, St. Petersburg, Fla. 34-39--73

Kyle Henning, Brookfield, Wis. 36-37--73

David Pastore, Greenwich, Conn. 36-37--73

Brandon Matthews, Dupont, Pa. 37-36--73

Philip Lee, Nashville, Tenn. 38-35--73

Thomas Strandemo, Fargo, N.D. 38-35--73

Ben Hogenkamp, Minster, Ohio 36-37--73

Ben-Marvin Egel, Germany 38-35--73

Colton West, Mesa, Ariz. 38-35--73

Jon Veneziano, Mount Dora, Fla. 36-37--73

Ryan Rettberg, Front Royal, Va. 36-37--73

Jacob Stockl, Clark, N.J. 37-36--73

Brian Bullington, Iowa City, Iowa 40-33--73

Gavin Green, Malaysia 37-36--73

Patrick Beyhan, Albuquerque, N.M. 34-39--73

Herbie Aikens, Pembroke, Mass. 36-37--73

Ryan Sloane, Campbell, Calif. 35-39--74

Matthew Rushton, South Africa 38-36--74

Andrew McCain, Tarpon Springs, Fla. 36-38--74

Talon Supak, Washington, Ill. 39-35--74

Ryan Knapp, Costa Mesa, Calif. 37-37--74

Nick Tremps, Williamsburg, Va. 35-39--74

Jordan Niebrugge, Mequon, Wis. 37-37--74

Michael Gellerman, Sterling, Kan. 38-36--74

Michael Lopez, Phoenix, Ariz. 40-34--74

Tyler McDaniel, Manchester, Ky. 38-36--74

Cash Wilkerson, Spring, Texas 38-36--74

Andrej Bevins, Elk Grove, Calif. 36-39--75

Ryann Ree, Redondo Beach, Calif. 39-36--75

Sean Carlon, Albuquerque, N.M. 38-37--75

Joshua Lee, Fleming Island, Fla. 37-38--75

Daniel Chian, Rowland Heights, Calif. 36-39--75

Cole Nygren, Longmont, Colo. 38-37--75

Justin Arens, Columbus, Ohio 38-37--75

Justin Kadin, Corvallis, Ore. 40-35--75

Jobim Carlos, Philippines 39-36--75

Zachary Bauchou, Forest, Va. 37-38--75

Richard Kim, Los Angeles, Calif. 38-38--76

Dalen Yamauchi, Hilo, Hawaii 39-37--76

Nick Krsnak, Fort Worth, Texas 37-39--76

Ted Moon, Lilburn, Ga. 36-40--76

Dylan Crowley, Los Angeles, Calif. 38-38--76

Joshua Baskins, Redding, Calif. 40-36--76

Nicholas Booth, West Jordan, Utah 39-37--76

Dominic Kieffer, Byron, Minn. 38-38--76

Alex McMahon, Tucson, Ariz. 41-35--76

Ty Travis, Eagle, Idaho 39-37--76

David Cooke, Bolingbrook, Ill. 39-37--76

Erik Olson, Bellevue, Wash. 39-37--76

John Wright, Aurora, Ill. 41-35--76

Edward Figueroa, Naples, Fla. 40-36--76

Jimmy Jaskoske, Addison, Ill. 37-39--76

Dennis Holub, Reminderville, Ohio 38-38--76

Jacob Henny, Norwalk, Conn. 37-39--76

Brennan Amirkhizi, Encino, Calif. 40-36--76

Stratton Nolen, Austin, Texas 40-36--76

Brandon Hortt, Spring Valley, Calif. 33-43--76

Michael Greene, Overland Park, Kan. 39-38--77

Andrew Lawson, Dallas, Texas 42-35--77

Shane Dobesh, Webster, N.Y. 39-38--77

Easton Renwick, Dubois, Pa. 38-39--77

Thomas Halla, Colgate, Wis. 36-41--77

Calvin Pearson, South Africa 41-36--77

Dylan Kornberg, Tucson, Ariz. 39-38--77

DeVaughn Robinson, Bahamas 38-39--77

David Monaco, Westerville, Ohio 43-34--77

Rohan Ramnath, Weston, Fla. 38-39--77

Donald Gabrelcik, Trinity, Fla. 39-39--78

Joseph Alvarez, North Berwick, Maine 39-39--78

David Germann, Clayton, N.C. 41-37--78

Chase Hanna, Leawood, Kan. 37-41--78

Ross Miller, Maple Grove, Minn. 42-36--78

Kyle Rodes, Plymouth, Mich. 39-39--78

Donny Hopoi, Aiea, Hawaii 38-40--78

Jameson Keiley, Haiku, Hawaii 39-40--79

Corey Eddings, Roseville, Calif. 41-38--79

Mitchell Homb, Glen Carbon, Ill. 41-38--79

Garren Poirier, Killington, Vt. 40-39--79

Paul McClure, Mobile, Ala. 41-38--79

Clayton Amuro, Hilo, Hawaii 39-40--79

Henry Lee, Canada 38-42--80

Eric Ghim, Glendale, Ariz. 42-38--80

Alex Gaugert, Lake Geneva, Wis. 39-41--80

Kurt Brey, Farmingdale, N.Y. 42-38--80

Marc Reyes, Los Angels, Calif. 40-40--80

Kaz Sakai, Palm Desert, Calif. 39-41--80

Alexander Weare, England 40-40--80

Jeff Wells, Redondo Beach, Calif. 40-40--80

Blake Abercrombie, Rocklin, Calif. 40-40--80

Cayman Ratliff, Kingsport, Tenn. 41-39--80

Zachary Bishop, Travelers Rest, S.C. 39-41--80

Zachary Burry, Quincy, Ill. 38-42--80

Michael Sharp, Kendallville, Ind. 40-41--81

Chris Rossi, Hamilton, Ohio 44-37--81

Sj Maeng, Honolulu, Hawaii 44-38--82

Jin Ho Chung, Brazil 44-38--82

Michael Miranda, Farmingville, N.Y. 38-45--83

Jason Loehrs, Drexel Hill, Pa. 41-42--83

Max Decheco, Stow, Ohio 43-40--83

Tyler Thomas, San Marcos, Texas 46-39--85

William Arnold, Anchorage, Alaska 47-39--86

Derek Bayley, Rathdrum, Idaho 48-39--87

Andrew Collins, Cincinnati, Ohio 42-45--87

Jonathan Renza, Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. 44-44--88

Brett Furutani, Hilo, Hawaii 46-43--89

Austin Zopfi, Worden, Mont. 43-47--90