Tide Golfers Both Get Wins

Mark Harrell and Michael Thompson, seniors on the University of Alabama golf team, both won their first rounds of match play Wednesday to advance to the second round of match play at the 2007 U.S. Amateur.

The Alabama golf stars are playing in the tournament at the famed par 70 Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Thompson defeated Walker Cup player and Wake Forest golfer Webb Simpson 4 and 3. . Thompson finished T-39th in stroke play, shooting 75-70/145 to finish 5-over par. Thompson will play Bryce Ledford of Ooltewah, Tenn., on Thursday.

Harrell, who finished second in stroke play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur, drew Phil Hendrickson of Danville, Ky., for the first round. Harrell won the match 2 and 1. Harrell finished T-25th in stroke play here, shooting 74-70/144. On Thursday Harrell will play the winner of Wednesday's match between stroke play champion Jason Kokrak and A.J. Oleksak .

The Crimson Tide golfers are in the same bracket and could potentially draw one another if both keep winning, though it would not be until the quarterfinal. Both are making their third appearance playing in the U.S. Amateur.

A field of 315 golfers, narrowed from the original field of 7,398 in qualifiers held around the country, played two rounds of stroke play on Monday and Tuesday. The cut for match play was 7-over par, with 17 players in a playoff for the final six spots. Fog delayed the finish both days, and 54 of the golfers in the field had to finish their second round play on Wednesday morning before the scheduled match play could begin. Jason Kokrak, 22, of Warren, Ohio, won the stroke play, shooting 2-under-par 68 in the second round for a total of 3-under, 137. Kokrak also qualified for and played in the 2007 U.S. Open.

Alabama golfer Matt Hughes, a junior on the Tide team this season, also participated in the U.S. Amateur, making his first appearance. He shot 83-71/154 and finished T-187.

The field used two courses for stroke play at The Olympic Club, the Ocean Course and the Lakeside Course. The Lakeside Course is being used for all of the match play. The championship concludes on Sunday with a 36-hole final where the winner will receive a berth at the 2008 U.S. Open and British Open and likely an invitation to play in the 2008 Masters Tournament.

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