NEWTON, Kan. – In between his rounds Thursday at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, Michael Gellerman felt a little uncertain about his game.
After beating Jon Veneziano 3 and 2 later in the day, Gellerman was all smiles about making the quarterfinals an hour from his hometown of Sterling, Kan.
Two more wins Friday, and Gellerman, a senior at Oklahoma, will be playing for the title.
"It was a fun day, but it was also very intense, a grind all day long," Gellerman said. "It's nice to play close to home because it gives me some sort of comfort. It's great to sleep in my own bed and eat my momma's cooking."
Gellerman will face Floridian Robert Geibel in Friday's first quarterfinal. While Gellerman ended his two matches early on Thursday, Geibel was playing tight matchups.
In the round of 32, Geibel and Michael Colgate were even for almost the entire back nine. But Colgate's errant shot on 18 allowed Geibel to earn a 1-up victory.
In the quarterfinals, Geibel birdied No. 18 to force extra holes against Cody McManus. Geibel won the match one hole later when McManus bogeyed No. 1.
The second quarterfinal will pair Hawaii's John Oda with Doug Ghim of Illinois. A Texas signee, Ghim survived a 23-hole marathon with defending champion Jordan Niebrugge.
Southern California's Rico Hoey, the Pac-12 freshman of the year, will face Jess Bonneau of Houston after that. And the final quarterfinal match pairs San Diego's Byron Meth, a co-medalist, with fellow Californian Bryson Dechambeau.
The semifinals will take place Friday afternoon.
The 89th U.S. Amateur Public Links will be the last. The United States Golf Association will replace it with national fourball competitions next year.