"It was a tough match," said the Ole Miss senior from Senatobia. "It was up and down for both of us. I got a lucky break or two and took advantage."
Ellis would consider himself lucky on the 19th hole. His second shot on the par-5 first hole, which was where the playoff began, went some 30 yards left of the green. But the ball hit a tree and bounced back into decent position. Ellis got it up and down for birdie while Cauley parred. The match was over.
"There was more pressure out there today," said Ellis, who plays today at 11:30 a.m. CDT against Nick Taylor. "It was a back and forth battle, and I was able to hang on and win."
With each passing day, Ellis becomes more confident.
"I feel I can beat any of the guys in the field," he said, "if I play well."
And, as was the case on the 19th hole Wednesday, getting a lucky break always helps, too.
If Ellis wins the first round today against Taylor, he will play a second round today. Playing 36 holes (or more if needed) today gets the field down to the final eight players for the quarterfinal matches on Friday.
The Olympic Club, where the 107th U.S. Amateur is being held, has hosted eight USGA championships. Included in the mix are four U.S. Opens and two U.S. Amateurs. It hosted the Open in 1955, 1966, 1987 and 1998. The U.S. Amateur was contested at Olympic in 1958 and 1981.
Today's action is on The Golf Channel from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Ellis wins match, advances in U.S. Amateur
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