It's the Round of 16 at the Missouri Amateur Championship and the players advancing are in the process of playing their second match of the day. Several of the pre-tournament favorites are still in the hunt, while a few veterans are also looking to rekindle another run at glory.
Local favorite, Brevin Gielber, stole the show through the first 36 holes of stroke play qualifying. Giebler finished his second round on Friday with a back nine 28, to shoot 68. After making four bogeys on the front nine, Giebler rattled off 6 birdies and an eagle to go with 2 pars to earn medalist honors heading into match play on Thursday. Giebler's kept the momentum going with a 5&4 victory over Bob Hanneken and a 1up win over Eric Ecker. Giebler was pushed by Ecker in the morning on Friday and now faces Wilson Sundvold Friday afternoon.
The University of Missouri Standout, Jace Long, was considered by many to be the favorite heading into this week's championship. Long was coming off a top 10 finish at the Sunnehanna Amateur, a national amateur event conducted on the east coast. Long breezed through stroke play qualifying with a 144 total, earning the 4 seed in the field of 64. A 3&1 victory over Ryan Argotsinger followed by a tight match, but 1 up win over Hunter Parrish brings Long to the sweet 16 where he faces Joe Migdal. Migdal's had his share of high profile competition having competed in the Division II National Championship as a member of the Central Missouri State golf team.
On The Back Nine Radio Show the weekend before the Missouri Amateur Championship started, Executive Director Scott Hovis identified Brent Holmes as a player to watch this week. Hovis was dead on, as Holmes finds himself in a position to play on the weekend if he can handle Ryan Zech of Kearney, MO. Holmes defeated Garret Sneed 3&2 on Friday morning after defeating St. Louis native, Kevin Bell in the first round.
Should Holmes advance to the weekend he will face one of the few Mid-Amateur or even Senior players remaining in the field. Steve Groom of Raytown, MO enjoyed a quick match on Friday morning winning 8&6 over Andrew Luo. An easy stroll around Dalhousie GC may be just what the eldest member remaining in the field needed as he greets another veteran in Kris Casburn in the Round of 16.
In arguably the most interesting match of this round, 3-time champion, Skip Berkmeyer faces Kansas State standout, Kyle Weldon. Weldon's enjoyed a great summer already having qualified for the US Open Sectional and earning an alternate position for this year's USAPL in Utah. While Weldon's having a great run of late, he faces a player who is 41-12 in Missouri Amateur history, played in 3 out of the last 4 finals and the defending champion.
Brad Nurski is coming off a win with friend, Mark Korell at the Olympia Fields Four Ball Championship, and is regularly in the hunt in Missouri Amateur major championships. Nurski disposed of David Abolt, 5&3 in the morning after ousting Parker Goldman of St. Louis on Thursday. Nurski is playing another hot player in Joe Atkisson, a University of Missouri-St. Louis golfer. Atkisson swept all of the UMSL Men's Golf Team Post Season honors after a successful year for the Tritons. He's carried his success into this week's championship where he's defeated Russell Holzbaur in 21 holes on Thursday and Tim Simmons 4&3 in the morning match on Friday.
The other matches in action on Friday afternoon feature Nick Wilson vs. Brandon Cauldwell and Kevin Kring vs. Jacob Fair.
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