Following Michigan’s Nick Carlson At The US Amateur – Match Play Day 2

Nick Carlson watches his tee shot on the 10th hole during third round of match play at the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club  in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Jeff Haynes)
Nick Carlson watches his tee shot on the 10th hole during third round of match play at the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Jeff Haynes)

Here’s an account of Nick Carlson’s two US Amateur matches on August 18, 2016.

Thursday Match 1:

8: 10 Tee Time

Nick Carlson vs Scott Gregory

 

Hole 1: Par 4, 454 Yards

Scott Gregory has the tee. His tee shot ends up in the left rough, short of the first bunker 200 to go.

Nick Carlson is in the right rough. The ground is very wet there, and he’s about 150 to the green.

Gregory’s iron finds the upper back fo the green. He’s facing a long putt. Carlson’s ball lands on the lower tee where the hole is cut. Both putt to tap-in length. Putts conceded.

All Square Through One

 

 

Hole 2: Par 5, 522 Yards

Both Carlson and Gregory find the fairway. Carlson is about twenty yards ahead of Gregory. There is an interminable wait for the group ahead to clear the green.

Gregory lands a fairway metal on the green. Carlson responds with an iron. Gregory’s putt is long and uphill, front left to back right. It tails off under the hole. Carlson, from the front right hits the hole and the ball kicks out. Gregory misses his second putt. Carlson sinks his.

Carlson 1 Up Through 2

 

Hole 3: Par 3, 183 Yards

The flag is in the upper left tier. Carlson’s ball finds the lower tier, he has a mid length putt. Gregory is on the upper tier, much closer. Carlson’s putt is short. Gregory’s putt is in.

All Square Through 3

 

Hole 4: Par 4, 449 Yards

Both find the right side of the fairway, with Carlson twenty yards past Gregory, perhaps at 130 to the green. Again, there is a long wait for the green to clear.

Gregory’s second finds the green on the left. Carlson’s shot is behind the hole.

Gregory’s long putt comes up short. Carlson makes birdie.

Carlson 1 Up Through 4.

 

Hole 5: Par 4, 453 Yards

Both players find the fairway. Carlson is away, perhaps 180 out. Gregory is twenty yards ahead.

While waiting on the group ahead, Carlson uses the time to stretch. Something seems to be bothering him.

Finally, Carlson takes a shot and lands the ball below the hole. He has a long putt. Gregory is in a greenside bunker.

Gregory gets out of the bunker, the ball rolling to 12 feet. Carlson putts uphill to tap-in range, and the putt is conceded. Carlson then makes a tricky clutch putt to halve the hole.

Carlson 1 Up Through 5

 

Hole 6: Par 4, 300 Yards

More waiting.

Finally, Carlson drives to just off the green. Gregory, with a fairway metal, leaks right to rough under the trees. He’s about 100 to the green. His pitch is close to the hole.

Carlson’s chip is very close. Gregory misses his short putt. Carlson makes his.

Carlson 2 Up Through 6

 

Hole 7: Par 4, 455 Yards

More waiting. At this point, a volunteer worker tells me that the group ahead is already two holes behind. Both players apparently have elaborate putting rituals that involve much waggling and wiggling.

Finally, Carlson drives the ball so far right it nearly hits the second fairway. Gregory hits to the fairway above the pond right to 160.

It soon becomes apparent that Carlson’s drive was deliberate. He took the water out of the equation and gave himself a better angle to the green.

Gregory’s shot is off the back of the green. Carlson, from the rough near the second fairway, hits the green. Gregory has a great recovery from the bunker, but Carlson sinks his third and wins the hole.

Carlson 3 Up Through 7

 

Hole 8: Par 4, 463 Yards

Carlson’s drive puts him 180 the hole. Gregory is about the same distance.

While waiting for the group ahead to clear, Carlson signs a glove and gives it to a random kid.

Gregory has a great shot to the green. Carlson’s second leaves him with the ball hanging on a slip of grass above a bunker.

Carlson’s wedge shot — a tricky one with an awkward stance — leaves him with a mid length putt. He slides by.

Both players make their par puts.

Carlson 3 Up Through 8

 

Nick Carlson watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during third round of match play at the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club  in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Jeff Haynes)
Nick Carlson watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during third round of match play at the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Jeff Haynes)

Hole 9: Par 3, 198 Yards

The hole is cut on the upper tier. Carlson’s shot stops dead on the upper tier for a mid length putt. Gregory is also there. Carlson just misses his first. Gregory lips out.

Carlson 3 Up Through 9

 

Hole 10: Par 4, 444 Yards

Carlson finds the right rough off the tee. Gregory is in the fairway, some 160 out. Second shots leave Carlson below the hole, and Gregory above it.

Carlson’s putt slides by. Gregory has a mid-length, slightly downhill putt. He lips out.

Carlson 3 Up Through 10

 

Hole 11: Par 4, 443 Yards

Carlson finds the left rough, some 130 out. Gregory is also at the same distance, but in the fairway.

Carlson’s shot is just off the green on the back. Aiming well away, his chip just misses the hole. Gregory is below the hole after his second. He drains a mid length putt for a birdie.

Carlson 2 Up Through 11

 

Hole 12: Par 5, 586 Yards

Gregory drives to 280 out. Carlson is twenty yards ahead. Gregory’s second shot lands 100 yards short of the green. Carlson is ten yards off the green to the right. Gregory’s third is to six feet. Carlson pitches to the green and is inside Gregory. Both make their putts.

Carlson Up 2 Through 12

 

Hole 13: Par 3, 160 Yards

The hole is cut on the upper tier left. Gregory lands on the lower front tier. Carlson is on the upper tier.

Gregory’s first putt is woefully short. Carlson’s runs curving at the hole and just slides by. Gregory’s next putt is short, rolling back away from the hole at the end. Carson misses. Both putts are conceded.

Carlson Up 2 Through 13

 

Hole 14: Par 4, 480 Yards

Still waiting on every hole.

Gregory’s ball is 190 out in the left rough. Carlson is ten yards past in the right rough.

The second for Gregory falls below the hole, still on the fairway. He chips it close and Carlson concedes his putt.

Carlson’s second landed at the back of the green. He just misses the birdie putt.

Carlson 2 Up Through 14

 

Hole 15: Par 4, 389 Yards

Gregory and Carlson both hit monster shots that sail over the center-of-fairway bunkers. Gregory second is just below the hole. Carlson’s is well away.

Carlson leaves his putt short. Gregory makes a clutch birdie putt.

Carlson 1 Up Through 15

 

Hole 16: Par 4, 397 Yards

Carlson hits an iron to the center of the fairway. Gregory is in the left rough, some 140 out. Both find the green on their second shots.

Gregory is away, and misses by inches. Carlson concedes his putt, then narrowly misses.

Carlson 1 Up Through 16

 

Hole 17: Par 3, 211 Yards

Carlson is on the green with his tee shot, just above the pin. Gregory is in a trap behind the green.

Gregory’s sand shot is terrific and pulls within inches. Carlson concedes the putt. Carlson’s own putt is online, but makes a strange turn at the last second.

Carlson 1 Up Through 17

 

Hole 18, Par 4, 499 Yards

Gregory hits his ball right down the middle. Carlson asks the gallery to move away from the right side of tee. He then proceeds to drive the ball down the adjacent, parallel tenth fairway. He knows that the pin is tucked well left on the green, behind the bunkers. Playing from the tenth fairway will give him a better angle.

Gregory makes a terrific shot and lands in the center of the green. Carlson’s shot hits a ridge in the green, but fails to carry over it. If the green were more dry and hard, perhaps.

Carlson’s long putt is woefully short. Gregory misses high. Carlson’s putt lips out. Gregory makes a two footer for par.

All Square Through 18

 

Hole 1: Par 4, 454 Yards

The first playoff hole.

Gregory’s tee shot is right, under some trees 150 out. His only shot is a pitch back to the fairway.

Carlson, from just off the fairway, hits the ball to five or six feet. Gregory’s third is to within inches. It is not enough. Carlson sinks his putt for the win.

Carlson Wins In 19.

 

Thursday Match 2:

1: 50 Tee Time

Nick Carlson vs KK Limbhasut

 

Hole 1: Par 4, 454 Yards

 

Carlson is well left off the tee.  Limbhasut is in the center.

Limbhasut’s second is the right of the flag. Carlson hits a low shot to the flag, The ball catches the green’s upslope and stops. Carlson’s putt is a near miss.  Limbhasut also misses.

All Square Through 1

 

Hole 2: Par 5, 522 Yards

Carlson is on the left side of the fairway some 200 out.  Limbhasut is in the left bunker, 230 out. It’s a steep sided bunker, and he hits a beautiful iron out to 150. His next shot finds the green.

In the meantime, Carlson’s second was right of the green. He hits a pitch to short range.

Limbhasut’s putts and is still away. The next goes in. Carlson’s short putt is in the hole.

Carlson 1 Up Through 2

 

 

Hole 3: Par 3, 183 Yards

The flag is in the upper left tier. Carlson’s shot leaves the ball resting on the edge of the green’s ridge. Limbhasut is well over into a bunker.

Limbhasut has a great out for a short putt. Carlson narrowly misses his putt, the next is conceded.  Limbhasut misses the par effort.

Carlson 2 Up Through 3

 

Hole 4: Par 4, 449 Yards

 

Carlson’s drive is well right of the fairway, but he has a good angle to the green. Limbhasut is just off the right fairway at about 160, well behind Carlson. Both second shots reach the back edge of the green.

Limbhasut flubs his chip. The ball turns left and rolls away. He then misses the comeback putt.

Carlson hits a hybrid from the fringe. The putt is conceded.

Carlson 3 Up Through 4

 

Hole 5: Par 4, 453 Yards

 

Carlson is 170 out, in the center of the fairway.  Limbhasut is behind him in the right rough.

Limbhasut skips his second shot into the green. Carlson makes an error and hits the ball well right.

Two teens passing. One says to the other “If I could, I would get in the way of a Carlson wayward shot. It’d be like a bullet off my chest.”

Carlson is short sided. His wedge out of the rough is well past. His comeback is off by mere inches.

Meanwhile,  Limbhasut’s first very long putt is a good effort. His second is in.

Carlson 2 Up Through 5

 

Hole 6: Par 4, 300 Yards

 

Limbhasut hits his ball to 100 out. His second is very close.

Carlson’s drive is in the bunker in front of the green. He lobs out just inside  Limbhasut.

Limbhasut has a chance when his putt hounces around the edges of the hole, but it does not go in. Both par.

Carlson 2 Up Through 6

 

Hole 7: Par 4, 455 Yards

Limbhasut hits it down the fairway. As he did in the morning session, Carlson hits his drive to the second, parallel fairway. He then duffs his second shot, falling just short of the green.

Limbhasut’s second is in the bunker left of the green. He seriously mishits his first and still is in the bunker. A second effort gets it close enough for Carlson to concede the putt.  Carlson can’t capitalize, though.

Carlson 2 Up Through 7

 

Hole 8: Par 4, 463 Yards

 

Limbhasut hits the ball to the right rough 190 out. Carlson finds a bunker 170 away.  Limbhasut’s second is short of the green on the sloping fairway. Carlson’s second out of the bunker flies very high, and lands in a greenside bunker right.

A close chip from  Limbhasut skips off the hole. Carlson’s bunker shot clears the edge, skips right past the hole. His subsequent putt slides past. Limbhasut is in.

Carlson 1 Up Through 8

 

Nick Carlson hits out of a bunker on the ninth hole during third round of match play at the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club  in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Jeff Haynes)
Nick Carlson hits out of a bunker on the ninth hole during third round of match play at the 2016 U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (Copyright USGA/Jeff Haynes)

Hole 9: Par 3, 198 Yards

The hole is cut on the upper tier. Limbhasut hits the center fo the green. Carlson is in a bunker right.

Out of the bunker, Carlson’s shot runs well away.  Limbhasut first putt is well short. Carlson has a long uphill putt. It goes a foot past.  Limbhasut concedes then sinks his own putt.

All Square Through 9

 

Hole 10: Par 4, 444 Yards

Limbhasut is 160 to the hole in the fairway. Carlson is ahead of him, but in the left rough with the ball above his feet.

The second for Limbhasut lands in the bunker right. He plays out to six feet. Carlson’s second leaves him with a long putt. He just misses. Limbhasut’s putt is just in.

All Square Through 10

 

Hole 11: Par 4, 443 Yards

 

Limbhasut’s tee shot is in the fairway, 150 out. Carlson fires a shot well past.

After the second, Limbhasut finds himself well past the green on the right. His lob is past the hole.

Meanwhile, Carlson’s second is on the green. He misses high, but sinks his next. Limbhasut misses low by an inch.

Carlson 1 Up Through 11

 

Hole 12: Par 5, 586 Yards

Limbhasut is in the center at 280. Carlson is in the right rough, with no view of the green. Carlson must play wide and short of the green. Both end up around 100 yards out.

Carlson’s shot catches a downslope on the green and rolls back to the front. Limbhasut’s stays high. Carlson’s putt is not nearly enough. Limbhasut misses his putt. Carlson lips out.

All Square Through 12

 

Hole 13: Par 3, 160 Yards

The hole is cut on the upper tier left. Limbhasut is left of the hole. Carlson finds a bunker left.

Carlson’s bunker shot (deliberately) barely clears the lip, catches the rough, slows down and heads for the hole. But the rough was not enough to slow it down and it goes all the way to the front of the green. Carlson’s comeback putt is woefully short. Carlson concedes the hole.

It is the first time he has trailed in match play.

Limbhasut Up 1 Through 13

 

Hole 14: Par 4, 480 Yards

Both tee shots are well left, Carlson’s far worse.

Carlson’s shot is to the back of the green. He putts close, then in for a four. Meanwhile, Limbhasut has found the green, but misses a short putt for par.

All Square Through 14

 

Hole 15: Par 4, 389 Yards

 

Both players easily clear the middle-of-the-fairway bunkers. Carlson is just off the left rough, around 75 out. Limbhasut is a little further back in the middle of the fairway.

The second for Limbhasut spins back toward the hole. Carlson’s pitch over the greenside bunkers is well short. His long putt misses left. Limbhasut is in for three.

Limbhasut 1 Up Through 15

 

Hole 16: Par 4, 397 Yards

Limbhasut drives to 140 to the green, just off the fairway left. Carlson is further back.

Carlson’s second lands left of the flag. Limbhasut hit it inside. Carlson’s pauses on the hole’s edge, but doesn’t fall. Limbhasut misses the birdie putt.

Limbhasut 1 Up Through 16

 

Hole 17: Par 3, 211 Yards

Limbhasut finds a greenside bunker long and left. His lob lands, rolls away from the hole.

Carlson’s tee shot is in the deep bunker right. He gets the ball up and over, but it rolls far away. Still Carlson’s putt just slides by. He taps in for a 4.

Limbhasut putts twice for a four.

Limbhasut 1 Up Through 17

 

Hole 18, Par 4, 499 Yards

Limbhasut hits his ball right down the middle. As earlier, Carlson asks the gallery to move away from the right side of tee. He then proceeds to drive the ball down the adjacent, parallel tenth fairway. He knows that the pin is tucked well left on the green, behind the bunkers. Playing from the tenth fairway will give him a better angle.

Limbhasut’s second finds deep rough left of the green. Carlson’s shot hits the front edge of the green.

A flubbed lob leaves Limbhasut still in the rough. Carlson leaves his putt six feet short. Limbhasut’s flop almost holes out, but rolls away. He is still away. His putt misses.

All Square Through 18

 

Hole 1: Par 4, 454 Yards

The first playoff hole.

Carlson’s tee shot is down the center. So too is Limbhasut’s.

Carlson’s second shot hits the green’s upslope, then rolls back to the hole. Limbhasut hits the right side of the green.

Limbhasut’s putt misses, as the ball turns right. Carlson does not miss the three footer.

Carlson Wins In 19.

 

Nick Carlson advances to the round of eight.

 

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