WVU golfer Mark Goetz was on a hot streak to start off the US Amateur in Pennsylvania, but it came to a quick end in the Round of 64 match play as he fell to David Nyfjall of Sweden at Oakmont Country Club on Thursday.
The top-seeded Mountaineer got off to a setback on the front nine despite taking an early one-hole lead on number two. Nyfjall took two holes back on four and five as Goetz carded bogeys, giving the Swede a 1-up lead at the turn.
Goetz turned up the head on the back, evening the matchup with a win on No. 10, then adding another trio of wins on 12, 13 and 14 to take a three-hole lead with four to go. He added a trio of bogeys to his card on 15, 16 and 17, though, of which Nyfjall took advantage with three pars to even it back up.
It then came down to the intimidating 484-yard 18th hole at Oakmont, a par-4 flanked by a pair of fairway bunkers. Goetz carded a par to finish the 18-hole round, but Nyfjall’s long putt for birdie sealed the early upset of the medalist as he earned a 1-up victory.
Goetz earned the top seed in the 64-man match play tournament at the US Amateur after finishing as the medalist in the two rounds of stroke play, notching a 36-hole score of 8-under at Oakmont and the Longue Vue Club earlier this week.
Goetz was one of two Mountaineers competing at this year’s US Amateur. Etienne Papineau got the start in the stroke play round, earning a 36-hole score of 5-over — just two strokes off of a spot in the playoff for the 64th seed in the match play tournament.
His elimination may sting, but Goetz will make his return to competitive golf in the Old Gold and Blue in exactly a month. The Greensburg, Pennsylvania native will return to Morgantown for his fifth season of eligibility after earning All-America honors and missing out on the NCAA Golf Championship by one spot and two strokes.
WVU begins its fall slate at the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 12 at the Windsong Farm Golf Club in Maple Plain, Minnesota.