BANDON, Ore. – Derek Ackerman and Matt McCarty of Santa Clara men's golf teamed up to post the best score in the opening 18 holes of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Ackerman and McCarty carded an 8-under-par 63 in Saturday's opening round in the 128-duo field. They are tied with Ralph Blasey and Alex Nianouris, and John and Andrew Sajevic. Four other twosomes are only one shot back in a tourament that is being held on both the Old Macdonald and Pacific Dunes courses at Bandon Dunes Resort.
"It feels pretty good. We came into the round not knowing what to expect with the weather," Ackerman said. "We heard in the player's meetings that a 62 was out there and we were kind of thinking that when we got on a little bit of a run and made a few birdies on the front nine"
Ackerman and McCarty went 5-under on the opening nine holes of the Old Macdonald course in a format that features each golfer playing his own ball throughout, and the lower of the partners' scores counting.
"On the last four or five holes we both had real good birdies looks and we were able to drop in the majority of them," Ackerman said.
The Bronco duo is familiar with the course having played it last season at the Bandon Dunes Championship. McCarty was in the 60s all three rounds in University of Oregon's two-day event and Akerman finished at 1-under.
"We saw how easy the courses could play which helped today with giving us a lot of confidence that we knew birdies were out there," McCarty said.
Stroke play continues Sunday.
"We are going to have the same mentality tomorrow," Ackerman said. "Going out there and have fun and make as many birdies as possible. Hit greens, hit fairways and just make it as easy as possible on ourselves."
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