July 15, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. -- Rising-senior Sam Lyons won a battle and won in 19 holes to advance out of the first round of the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla., July 15.
No. 20 seed Lyons took on No. 45 Peter O'Neill of Carmel, Ind., currently an All-Atlantic-10 peformer at Xavier University, and the two staged an epic battle. Lyons took a 1-up lead on the second hole with a birdie on the par-3 but gave it back with a bogey on the par-5 5th hole. O"Neill then biridied the par-3 6th, but Lyons won the eighth hole with a par to square the match again. O'Neill then won the next two holes with a birdie on each of the par-4s, but Lyons would not go away and battled back to win the next two holes and even the match again with six holes to play. The players then matched scores on the final six holes to send the match back to the par-4 1st hole, a 468-yard hole. From there, Lyons posted a par to best O'Neill's bogey and win the match.
Lyons moves on to take on the oldest player in the field, playing against 34-year-old Josh Gregory of Augusta, Ga. The two are familiar with each other, but not as competitors. Gregory is the head men's golf coach at Augusta State University and has been the coach of the Jaguars against the Chanticleers in several tournaments this year. The pair go off the first tee at 7:45 a.m. with the winner advancing to play the winner of No. 4 seed Rickie Fowler of Oklahoma State, a 2007 Walker Cup team member with former Chanticleer Dustin Johnson, and Alton Anderson, Jr. at 12:50 p.m.