SAN FRANCISCO — Stanford teammates Maverick McNealy and Viraat Badhwar kept up their momentum from qualifying with a 6-and-4 victory to easily advance out of the first round of the inaugural U.S Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Badhwar and McNealy were medalists during weekend qualifying at The Olympic Club, just across the lake from where the Match Play Championship wrapped up on Sunday.
They won four of the opening six holes against Erik Ciotti and Michael Affeldt and were never seriously threatened.
McNealy, the top college player in the country, didn’t put much stock into the pressure of the top qualifiers advancing during the match play portion of the tournament.
“I’ve heard of the curse of the No. 1 seed, but this is the first time for this tournament,” he said. “Who said we can’t switch it around?”
The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball replaces the U.S. Public Links Amateur on the USGA calendar of championships.
James Edmondson, the caddie for PGA Tour player Ryan Palmer, teams with Zach Atkinson in a 3-and-2 victory over the father-son duo of John and Andrew Sajevic from Fremont, Nebraska.
The Texas duo of Edmondson-Atkinson next faces the brother of Phil Mickelson in the quarterfinals.
Tim Mickelson, the golf coach at Arizona State, and Jake Yount had a 2-and-1 victory over Trevor Randolph and Keith Unikel.
Only one of the 16 matches required extra holes. Scott Harvey and Todd Mitchell took 19 holes to get past Andrew Wyatt and Brett Douglas.
Jason Higton and Ryan Higton of Fresno, also had an easy time in a 5-and-4 victory over Brad Nurski and Richard Berkmeyer.
Kyle Suppa and Kyosuke Hara of Honolulu also advanced with a 3-and-2 win over Austin Eaton and Roger Holt.