Sam Houston State golfer William Holcomb has solidified his spot in the school’s history book.
The senior from Crockett became the first Bearkat to advance to the match-play round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur, and now he is one of the eight remaining players vying for the championship at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in North Carolina. Holcomb defeated Pierceson Coody of Plano 2 and 1 Thursday afternoon by winning the 16th and 17th holes with back-to-back par putts after beating Ludvig Aberg of Sweden earlier in the day.
Holcomb, who will face Karl Vilips of Australia Friday, told Fox Sports the key to him advancing to the quarterfinals has been giving himself a “chance.”
“As long as I have a chance there is hope,” Holcomb said. “Just stay in it. That’s basically what I have been doing all week, and I’ve been super blessed on the last eight holes of every match.”
Holcomb was down one through 12 holes Thursday but recorded a par on the 391-yard 13th hole to knot things up with Coody. They tied 14 and 15 before Coody bogeyed the par-4 16th hole and the par-3 17th.
Holcomb won the first hole and went 2 up with an eagle on the par-5, 552-yard fifth hole to begin the round. Coody won the next three holes to take the lead, but Holcomb birdied the par-3, 192-yard ninth hole to square the match at the turn. Coody briefly took the lead with a birdie on No. 10.
In the stroke-play competition Monday and Tuesday, Holcomb fired rounds of 72 to finish 4-over and make the cut to advance to match play. He then topped Thomas Forest of England 2 up in the round of 64 after falling behind by four through 10 holes Wednesday.
Holcomb and Aberg were tied three times before Holcomb clinched the victory in the round of 32 Thursday with a birdie on the par-4, 440-yard 18th hole in the round of 32.