PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2016) – Adam Rainaud and Mitchell Camp seemed determined Wednesday to make up for the fact both players didn’t have to play in the first round of the 53rd PGA Match Play Championship.
They played nine extra holes before Rainaud, the defending champion, made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the Dye Course to advance into Thursday’s quarterfinals. They both had made pars on the previous eight playoff holes.
“We figured we’d play a lot of golf today because we didn’t play yesterday,” Camp said, smiling. “At least I lost against a birdie. That makes me feel a little better.”
Amazingly, Rainaud was involved in a nine-hole playoff two months ago in the PGA Tournament Series, losing to Jeffrey Schmid. Rainaud had to birdie the 18th hole in regulation Wednesday to force the playoff after neither player held more than a 1-up lead during the match.
“I’ve been in a lot of playoffs the last two years,” said Rainaud, a PGA Assistant Professional at Black Hall Club in Old Lime, Conn. “I think that one against Schmid is the only one I lost. There was a lot of drama (Wenesday); it wasn’t like there was a bunch of boring pars.”
Camp agreed. “We each had our chances.”
As the top seed, Rainaud was given a first-round bye because the field only had 63 players after a disqualification. Camp won his first-round match when Charles Meola was unable to play.
There were some other crazy finishes Wednesday. Pete Catanzaro, the No. 37 seed, won his match against No. 5 Matt Noel with a bogey on the 17th hole. Noel double bogeyed the par 5. Each parred the 18th.
“Sometimes in match play, you make decisions based on what the other guy is doing,” Catanzaro said. “Before you know it, both guys have made a mess of the hole. I was lucky to make a 6-foot bogey putt.”
Kirk Stauffer was the lowest seed (No. 3) to get beat when he lost to No. 30 Tim Puetz in 20 holes. Jeff Sorensen, the No. 2 seed, beat 2014 champion Rob McClellan 3-and-2 in a match against a pair of former Methodist University players.
Bob Sowards, the three-time Match Play Champion, beat No. 15 J.C. Anderson 3-and-1 to keep Sowards’ hopes alive of becoming the first player to win the Match Play four times.
There will be two matches Thursday and two more Friday to decide the champion. First prize is $5,000.
The Match Play Championship is the final event of the PGA Winter Championship season sponsored by Premier Golf and Golf Advisor.
Wednesday’s Round of 32 results from the 53rd PGA Match Play Championship on the 7,053-yard Dye Course at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.:
No. 1 Adam Rainaud def. No. 32 Mitchell Camp, 27 holes.
No. 17 Rob Corcoran def. No. 16 Scott Berliner, 4-and-2.
No. 8 Troy Pare def. No. 25 Mark Summerville, 5-and-4.
No. 9 Frank Dully def. No. 24 James Giampaolo, 1-up.
No. 2 Jeff Sorenson def. No. 31 Rob McClellan, 3-and-2.
No. 47 Bob Sowards def. No. 15 J.C. Anderson, 3-and-1.
No. 7 Wyatt Worthington def. No. 26 Kirk Hanefield, 2-and-1.
No. 42 Gregory McClimans def. No. 10 Michael Tucker, 4-and-3.
No. 30 Tim Puetz def. No. 3 Kirk Stauffer, 20 holes.
No. 51 Kimmel Husband def. No. 19 Roy Vucinich, 5-and-4.
No. 6 Rich Berberian def. No. 38 Ryan Kalista, 5-and-4.
No 54 Justin Pollock def. No. 22 Dakun Chang, 2-up.
No. 4 Jonathan Mansfield def. No. 36 David Yokitis, 4-and-3.
No. 52 Joe Kern def. No. 20 Jerry Tucker, 3-and-1.
No. 37 Pete Catanzaro def. No. 60 Matt Noel, 1-up.
No. 12 Jeff Wells def. No. 44 Josh Rackley, 1-up.