Kozan leads Auburn golfers at U.S. Amateur

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Photo courtesy of Auburn Athletics

Courtesy of Auburn Athletics

Six members of the 2020-21 Auburn men’s golf team participated in the 2020 U.S. Amateur Aug. 10-16. Graysen Huff, Andrew Kozan, Brandon Mancheno, Wells Padgett, Jovan Rebula and Alex Vogelsong were among the 264 golfers in the 120th installment of the annual event. In addition, former Tiger Brett Boner took part in the U.S. Amateur.

The event took place in Bandon, Ore. at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, a par-72 course that stretches 7,214 yards.

After two rounds of stroke play in as many days, the 264-person field was trimmed to 64 for match play to decide the champion.

The winner of the event earned exemptions from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Amateurs, as well as an exemption into the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines and 2021 Open Championship. The winner is also likely to receive an invitation into the 2021 Masters Tournament.

Kozan fired a 3-under 68 in the second round of the U.S. Amateur Tuesday to advance to match play. The rising senior finished stroke play at 2-under (73-68–141) at Bandon Dunes.

Kozan, who entered the round in a tie for 56th, rose to a tie for 23rd to cement his place in the top 64, who competed for the match play title beginning Wednesday.

The West Palm Beach, Fla., native rattled off five birdies, including three on the back nine, to go along with 11 pars on the day.

Vogelsong and Huff tied for 102nd and 115th, respectively. Vogelsong ended stroke play at 4-over (72-75–147), while Huff capped his week at 5-over (72-76–148).

Mancheno (75-78–153), Padgett (80-73–153) and Rebula tied for 199th at 10-over (78-75–153). Boner tied for 241st at 16-over (76-83–159).

Kozan won his matchup in the Round of 64 to move on to the Round of 32 during match play at the U.S. Amateur Wednesday at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

The rising senior defeated Oklahoma’s Patrick Welsh, 4&3, to advance to the next stage of the 120th installment of the event.

Kozan led from the start after winning the first hole. After tying the second hole, he then won the next five holes to hold a commanding 6-up advantage through seven holes.

The West Palm Beach, Florida native extended his lead to 7-up, his largest of the day, after recording a birdie on the par-4 10th hole.

Despite losing three of the next four holes, Kozan earned the 4&3 result after tying the par-3 15th.

Kozan dropped a tight 2&1 decision to bow out in the Round of 32 during match play at the U.S. Amateur Thursday at Bandon Dunes.

Despite an even battle with Charlotte’s Matthew Sharpstene, Kozan was unable to gain an advantage in the 17-hole affair.

The two players were all square through the first 11 holes, matching each other shot for shot, but Sharpstene moved to 1-up after the 12th hole.

After Sharpstene acquired a 2-up advantage on the 16th hole, Kozan needed to win the next two holes to keep the match alive. However, the two golfers each tallied a par on the 17th hole, ending Kozan’s run at the 120th installment of the U.S. Amateur.

Tyler Strafaci, a fifth-year Georgia Tech student from Davie, Florida., won the U.S. Amateur Championship over Charles “Ollie” Osborne of Reno, Nevada.

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