Leach's putt on 13th hole key in upset of Fowler at Publinx
DENVER -- Kyle Leach defeated Rickie Fowler 2 and 1 in third-round match play Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links.
"I beat the top United State's amateur," Leach said. "It's overwhelming."
Leach of Louisville, Ky., earned a shot at Fowler by beating Scott Langley, 1-up earlier in the day.
"I went out and stuck to my game," said Leach, a junior to be at Bellarmine University in Louisville. "My putter was great and I made a lot of putts."
Leach said the key putt came at No. 13 when he hit a 10-footer for bogey to win the hole. Fowler missed an 8-foot bogey putt.
"I expect myself to win everything," said Fowler, who plays for Oklahoma State. "So it's a letdown when I lose or get second."
In the morning, Fowler didn't play his best, but still defeated last year's runner-up, Cody Paladino, 4 and 3. Fowler was 1-up at the turn, and won the 11th hole with a par and birdied the 12th with a short putt.
"I felt like I'm getting my game together," Fowler said. "I had a few mistakes in the first two matches, but started playing well at the end."
Corey Nagy, seeded fifth, from Charlotte, was the only top-seeded golfer to advance to the quarterfinals. Nagy defeated Grant Leaver of Centerville. Tenn., 2 and 1.
Tenth-seed Andy Winings, from Brownsburg, Ind., missed making the quarterfinals, losing 3 and 2 to David Johnson of Palm Bay, Fla., in a third-round match.
The other quarterfinalists are Cason Hammock, Columbus, Ga.; Randall Hutchison, Traverse City, Mich.; Jack Newman, Des Moines, Iowa; Jeff Dennis, Jacksonville, Fla.; and John Chin, Temecula, Calif.
Two top 10-seeded golfers were eliminated in second-round matches. Fourth seed Brian Locke, Los Angeles, lost 2 and 1 to Kelly Kretz, Antigo, Wis.., and David Johnson beat No. 7 Jon McLean, Weston, Fla., 1-up.
Brady Johnson, Mill Bay, British Columbia, was beaten 3 and 2 by Hammock in a morning match. The loss came a day after Johnson had knocked out medalist Aaron Goldberg.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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