BROOKLINE, Mass. -- Halfway through the U.S. Amateur final, it is still too close to call, as Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick holds only a slim 1-up lead over Oliver Goss of Australia.
That does not mean the first 18 were boring -- indeed it was far from it. The first 18 have been a back-and forth-affair, with only seven of the holes halved.
Fitzpatrick assumed the 1-up lead that he currently holds with a great shot from 216 yards into the par-4 15th to 5 feet. Goss meanwhile went through the back with his approach and then went off the front of the green with his first chip shot, after failing to hole his chip for par coming back, he conceded Fitzpatrick's birdie putt and the hole.
As good as the play has been all day, the last hole was the most spectacular of the morning round. On the par-4 18th, both players were in the right rough with their tee shots and proceeded to lay up with their second.
Fitzpatrick laid up in thick rough short of the bunker, while Goss was only in the first cut. Advantage Goss, right? Fitzpatrick was forced to play safe, going 20 feet past the flag with his chip shot. Goss was more aggressive and left his third shot short of the green, about 12 feet from the cup in the first cut, right up against the thicker stuff.
Stepping up to his putt, Fitzpatrick's putter was magical once again, as he rolled in the downhill 20-footer. Goss, now under pressure to get the half and go into the afternoon session only 1 Down, hit his chip and watched it drop in. The hole was halved in par -- routine stuff really.
Here is hoping for more back and forth action in the afternoon session. The fans, which have turned out in droves all week, are certainly being treated to a show.