Fortin-Simard Bows Out in First Round of Match Play at U.S. Amateur
Aug. 24, 2005
Ardmore, Pa. - Memphis sophomore Keven Fortin-Simard was defeated by fellow Canadian Ryan Yip 1 up in the first round of match play on Wednesday at Merion Golf Club. The match was extremely close throughout, as neither golfer led by more than two for the entire match and went all 18 holes.
Fortin-Simard won the first hole and led through the first three. The matched evened up at #4, Yip took the lead after #5, it evened up again at #6, before Fortin-Simard took the lead again through #7 and #8. The front nine ended with Yip winning #9 to even up the match again.
Things remained square through #11 but after Yip took the lead on #12, Fortin-Simard would not lead again, trailing by either one or two shots the remainder of the way. He trailed by two after #16 but won #17 to give himself a chance to force a playoff by winning #18. Fortin-Simard hit his approach shot over the green on the 505-yard par four 18th hole while Yip left his short short of the green. Yip hit first and hit the flagstick with his shot, dropping the ball just a few feet short of the hole for an easy par putt. Fortin-Simard, knowing he had to make the birdie putt from off green in the second cut of grass to win the hole and force a playoff, putted hard and the ball hit the back of the cup, jumped up, and trickled past the hole several feet, leaving both players with par putts, which were both conceded, leaving the final margin at 1 up in favor of Yip.
This week at the U.S. Amateur capped a busy summer for Fortin-Simard, who won the Quebec Amateur last month as well as the U.S. Amateur qualifier in Syracuse, N.Y. Last week, he also played in the Canadian Amateur, which runs under the same format at the U.S. Amateur, and lost in the second round of match play. Fortin-Simard was one of just four golfers in the field to shoot under par in his stroke play round at Merion, despite not having had a single practice round.
Fortin-Simard will now drive from Philadelphia to Memphis to arrive for the beginning of classes next Monday. He and his Tiger teammates will open their fall season by playing in the Minnesota Collegiate Invitational September 17-18 in Wayzata, Minn.