Aug. 22, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University golfer Sandy Horacek birdied the 17th hole to defeat Atsushi Takase of Japan 2 and 1 on day one of the match play portion of the 101st U.S. Amateur Open Championship at East Lake GC in Atlanta, Ga.
The senior from Los Angeles, Calif. bolted out to an early lead, going up one after the par-four first hole. Horcek built his lead to 4-up after eight holes before Takase began his rally. The amateur from Japan trimmed the lead down to 1-up with a par on the 16th hole. Horacek immediately bounced back with a birdie on the 453-yard par-four 17th hole to close out the first round match.
Horacek qualified for the match play portion of the tournament after shooting rounds of 74 at East Lake on Monday, and 68 at Druid Hills GC on Tuesday. All the rounds of the match play tournament will take place at the East Lake course.
"Sandy is a great match play player," said Santa Clara head coach John Kennaday. "I felt going in that if he made it into the match play portion of the tournament that he might have a good change to run the table and win the whole thing."
If Horacek is to win the tournament he will have to win one match a day from Thursday through Saturday, and then endure a grueling 36-hole match for the Championship.
Horacek's reward for the first round victory is a match against Takase's countryman Taichiro Kiyota who won his match 1-up over Brock MacKenzie. Kiyota rallied from 4-down to win the match with a par, beating MacKenzie's bogey on the 235-yard par three 18th. The second-round match with Kiyota will begin at the first hole of the East Lake GC at 8:20 a.m. on Thursday morning.
In addition to his stellar play thus far in Atlanta, Horacek has a historical connection to the East Lake and Druid Hills golf courses. His grandmother, Dorothy Sanford Horacek, won the Atlanta Women's City championship in the 1930s at East Lake, while his grandfather, Joseph Horacek Jr., held the course record at Druid Hills in the 1930s, which was broken by Sam Snead. The pair met playing the two courses. Sandy's great-grandfather, Joseph Horacek, was a founding member of Druid Hills.