U.S. Four-Ball: Vannucci, Kwon breeze through Round of 16 and into Quarterfinals
Marlton's Troy Vannucci and Vince Kwon continued their trek onward through the round of 16 in match play of the U.S. Four-Ball Championship today by defeating John Faulk and Matt Nicholas of Louisiana, 5 and 3, on the Old Macdonald Course at Bandon Dunes in Oregon.
"How this course sets up, you want to give yourself good looks. There are a lot of crazy greens here, so you want to have two good looks," Vannucci said after the Round of 16 victory.
"We've been playing real solid and making some birdies. We haven't gotten off to the greatest starts, but we keep battling and play good in the middle of the rounds. We’re just having fun and playing golf, just like it's a normal day.
"We talk about the shots and how to hit them. We're not doing anything special. We try to just keep it simple," Vannucci added.
At No. 3, Vannucci and Kwon are the highest remaining seeds. At 5:25 EST, they face No. 22-seeded Matt Parziale and Herbie Aikens of Massachusetts in the quarterfinal round.
In the Tuesday morning match, the duo collected birdies on the par-3 No. 8 and the par-4 No. 9 to make the turn at 2-up. Vannucci added a birdie on the par-3 No. 12 for a 3-up lead and another birdie on the par-4 No. 14 basically clinched the match.
Vannucci, age 27 and a member at Little Mill Country Club, and Kwon, age 25, who plays out of the NJSGA E-Club (South) and is a former member of Little Mill, will play their quarterfinal match Tuesday afternoon.
In the Round of 32 1-up victory on Monday over Tyler McKeever of Georgia and Steven Groover of Alabama, Vannucci's 25-foot uphill birdie putt on the par-4 No. 18 provided the heroics.
"Vince and I have the same game. We’re straight off the tee and we’re ball strikers. We hit fairways and greens and when the putters get hot, it's a bonus," Vannucci said.
The duo entered match play on Monday as the No. 3 seed by virtue of finishing 36 holes of stroke play qualifying at 13-under par, enough to share medalist honors with two other teams.
Brendan Hansen and Jack Wall, who gained the No. 10 seed, were ousted in the first round in 21 holes by Brandon Cigna and Ben Warnquist. Wall's brothers, Jeremy and Ethan, did not qualify for match play after finishing minus-three in stroke play. Peter Barron and Michael Brown also did not advance, finishing at minus-five.
Matt Kleinrock of Jacksonville, Fla., a former member of Forest Hill Field Club in Bloomfield, and his partner, Devon Hopkins, also of Jacksonville, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 1-up victory over Hunter and Ryder Epson of California. No. 28-seeded Kleinrock and Hopkins face No. 4-seeded Taylor Wood of California and Andrew Medley of Arizona in the quarterfinals.
The semifinals and final are scheduled for Wednesday.