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Blair in 17-Man Playoff for Final Two Spots at United States Amateur
One shot is big in golf over-and-over-and-over again. This time it was Zac Blair and 16 other players in the United States Amateur who wish they had one shot back. They all tied at 144 and have to get up early Wednesday morning to battle each other for the 15 undecided match play spots. The odds are good for each of them since 15 will advance to match play, but two of them are going to lose and that one shot will live in their memories for quite some time.Although 15 of them are going to be happy to advance that one shot has already cost them lots of zzzz’s and untold extra stress and Blair is one of them.He shot an opening round of 69 at the Charles River Country Club, but fell off to a 75 in the second round at The Country Club. Joe Parkinson, the other Utahn in the event, shot a second straight 78 and finished in the lower quarter of the field. Both Blair and Parkinson are former Utah State Am champions.A pair of first-time USGA competitors, Neil Raymond, 27, of England, and Brady Watt, 22, of Australia posted 36-hole totals of 6-under-par 134 Tuesday to share medalist honors by three strokes at the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship.Raymond’s round of 3-under-par 67 at 6,547-yard, par-70 Charles River Country Club included four birdies and a bogey. He employed Tommy White, a caddie who he had met just 90 minutes before his second round. Raymond had carried his own golf bag in recording a 67 at The Country Club on Monday, which was that day’s low round at TCC.”When I left the club yesterday, someone asked me if I would like a caddie today,” Raymond said. “It was a very nice offer. Then when I heard the forecast for today and all the stuff I would have to take in the bag, I decided to use a caddie. Today, the caddie made a big difference. He was brilliant.”White resides in Brookline and is currently a caddie at The Country Club, though he was a caddie at Charles River from 1995-2012.”It’s very good,” said Raymond of sharing the medalist honor. “I know Brady pretty well. People are going to be gunning for us because our names are at the top.”I didn’t have a score in mind when I got here today,” Raymond said. “I came out, took some good swings and said, let’s see what happens. I am delighted it all came together.”The 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Sunday at 9 a.m.