Can wins handily in first match-play competition

Updated: July 26, 2002, 9:28 PM ET
Associated Press

DULUTH, Ga. -- Tarik Can of New York, the co-medalist playing match play for the first time in his golf career, advanced to the second round of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

Can, the 17-year-old from Douglaston in Queens, beat Matt Edwards of Henderson, Nev., 5 and 4 Thursday on the Atlanta Athletic Club's par-70 Highlands Course.

Can was five holes up after six holes, but Edwards cut the margin to three on the 12th hole. Can won the 13th hole with a birdie and ended the match with a par on the 14th.

''I tried to keep it in the fairway and keep it on the greens because this is the first time I've ever played match play,'' Can said. ''My caddie really helped me out. He told me how it's a putting match and the matches get tougher as they go along.''

Jarred Texter of Lancaster, Pa., the other co-medalist, dropped a 2-up decision to Shane Sigsbee of McKinney, Texas.

Defending champion Henry Liaw of Rowland Heights, Calif., routed Tom Guillebeau of Hockessin, Del., 8 and 6.

The second round of stroke play was completed Thursday morning, with Can shooting a 69, and Texter a 70 to top the 64 match-play qualifiers at 1-under 139.

Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press