Swan Falls In Second Round Of Amateur

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. – Montgomery native Matthew Swan, a senior on the University of Alabama men's golf team, has ended his quest for the United States Amateur Championship.

Swan was defeated 4 & 3 in the second round of match play Thursday by Florida State golfer Drew Kittleson of Scottsdale, Arizona.

"It was pretty windy today but really the main thing was that I hit my driver real poorly," said Swan who returns to Tuscaloosa on Thursday night and to fall semester classes at the University of Alabama on Friday morning. "I'd been driving the ball real well, hitting it in the fairways. I'm hitting my irons real well, but today I just drove the ball poorly and just didn't have a chance to hit any good iron shots into the green."

Swan, a four-time U.S. Amateur participant and a three-time match-play participant, finished T-8th in stroke play on Tuesday. He drew Rob Chappell, a Cincinnati, Ohio native who won the 2008 Atlantic 10 conference individual championship this past spring. Swan defeated the University of Dayton golfer 4 & 2 in the first round of match play Wednesday morning on Pinehurst No. 2 at the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club where the U.S. Amateur is being played through Sunday's final.

Against Kittleson on Thursday Swan was never able to overtake him, falling 1-up after the first hole. Kittleson made the turn at 1-up and went 2-up at No. 10, a par 5. Swan got the next hole, No. 11, by making par on the par 4. Kittleson won the next two holes to go 3-up after 13 holes. The two tied No. 14 and Kittleson won No. 15 to go 4-up and take the match.

Swan says he's disappointed he didn't advance another round but takes some solace when reminded that more than 7,200 golfers originally tried out for the U.S. Am this year and that he was among the final 32.

"I came in 8th place in the stroke play out of 315, so I was real proud of that," said Swan when asked about the experience. "The previous years I've always come in right around the cut line to get into match play, so it was real nice to have a good finish in the stroke play part of it. I would say that was definitely a positive out of it."

School and the 2008-09 Crimson Tide golf season now await Swan who is the veteran returner on an Alabama team that was ranked No. 1 for most of last season and won the Southeastern Conference Championship among its six tournament wins but lost four key players, All-American Michael Thompson, Mark Harrell, Joseph Sykora and Gator Todd, to graduation.

"I think this experience will definitely help me going into the season," said Swan who was All-Southeastern Conference as a junior in 2008. "The first two rounds, what I came in 8th in, that's how we play all our tournaments, stroke play. We don't play match play. So I know that I'm playing well. Match play is totally different. This wasn't my case today, but in match play you can catch one guy who's real hot just for that one day and lose. So I think it definitely gives me a lot of confidence, that I know I'm playing well. But I am a little disappointed, knowing that I could have played better today."

Alabama will open its 2008-09 golf season at the Carpet Capital Collegiate which is held at The Farm in Dalton, Ga. Alabama is the two-time tournament defending champion.

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