PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Charleston Southern senior Art Griffin's terrific run at the United States Amateur came to an end Thursday in a Round of 32 match play loss to Joey Vrzich at Riviera Country Club. Vrzich took the lead on the first hole and never trailed to defeat Griffin, 4 and 2, and advance into the afternoon's Round of 16.
Griffin, seeded 25th in the match play field, fell behind by three through four holes but hung around and eventually drew within one thanks to a birdie at the par-four 12th. Vzrich re-instated a 2 up lead with a birdie at No. 13 and added a win at No. 15 to put Griffin down three with three to play. The match then came to a close at the par-three 16th, as another Vrzich birdie sealed the outcome.
Thursday's loss did not take away from a sterling effort from Griffin. He qualified for stroke play for the second consecutive year, and then tied for 19th place in the 312-player field by shooting even par 140 (66-74) on Monday and Tuesday. Griffin carded a first round four-under 66 at Bel-Air Country Club, putting him fourth in the field behind three players at -6. On Wednesday, he never trailed en route to handing LSU junior Nathan Jeansonne a 3 and 2 loss.
This marked the third straight year CSU had a golfer advance to match play at the world's most prestigious amateur event. Austin James made a remarkable run to the quarterfinals in 2015, and lost a tightly contested first round match a year ago.