BENTON TOWNSHIP — Ricky Castillo shot an 8-under par 62 at Point O’ Woods Golf & Country Club on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Western Amateur.
A round that good is rare, but it’s especially rare in match play – play that well, and you should be able to win without playing all 18 holes.
Eric Bae made Castillo earn his victory though, carding a 65 and taking the match all the way to No. 18 before Castillo won 1-up.
“It was a really close match the whole way and we both played really, really well,” Castillo said. “It was mentally exhausting, just because you’re out there making birdies and you’re not winning holes. It happens. Eric played really great out there, so did I, and it just happened that I was able to win the match.”
Castillo advances to the semifinals to take on Daniel Wetterich at 8:12 a.m. today. The other semifinal tees of at 8 a.m., with Garrett Rank taking on David Laskin. The finals will take place in the afternoon.
Castillo is one of the younger players in the field at 18. He will start his college golf career at the University of Florida this fall with confidence he can already compete with the best.
Castillo evened his match with Bae on No. 10, then the two halved seven straight holes before he finally won with a birdie on No. 18. Earlier in the day, Castillo beat Garrett May 3 and 2 to advance.
Wetterich, a recent Ohio State graduate, advanced with a pair of 2-and-1 victories. In the round of 16 he beat Everton Hawkins of Northwestern, who he played with in the Big Ten Championship. He then went on to top Frankie Capan of Alabama in the quarterfinals.
Wetterich has been one of the more consistent players all week, sharing the lead with Laskin after two rounds and finishing stroke play tied for second.
“I’ve been putting really well this week, which really helps me,” Wetterich said. “On this golf course, if you’re driving the ball straight and putting well, you can score here. I’m just going to stick to that and try to do that the best I can.”
Laskin, who plays at Arizona, had to come back from a rough stretch on Thursday. He shot a 74 in the third round of stroke play, but rebounded with a 66 to secure his spot in match play. Once there, he knocked off Quade Cummins and medalist Davis Thompson, both by a score of 2 and 1.
“It’s a lot of golf,” Laskin said. “You’re not going to have it every hole. That’s just the way it goes when you play 36 holes. Just like today in match play, you can make a couple bad swings and it’s fine, you can get it back on the next hole.”
Rank, a 31-year-old National Hockey League referee, beat Turk Pettit of Clemson 2 and 1 in the quarterfinals, coming back from a 3-hole deficit after six.
“I’ve played in a few match play situations where I’ve lost 4- or 5-up leads, with not even really bad golf,” Rank said. “I knew that I still had a chance. He gave me a few holes in the middle of the round, which kind of gave me a little bit of momentum. Then I just started playing really well on the back nine.”
Rank beat Hidetoshi Yoshihara 2-up in his quarterfinal match.
Davis Thompson d. Karl Vilips 3 and 2
David Laskin d. Quade Cummins 2 and 1
Turk Pettit d. John Pak 2 and 1
Garrett Rank d. Hidetoshi Yoshihara 2-up
Eric Bae d. Chandler Phillips 2 and 1
Ricky Castillo d. Garrett May 3 and 2
Daniel Wetterich d. Everton Hawkins 2 and 1
Frankie Capan d. Sahith Theegala (concession)
David Laskin d. Davis Thompson 2 and 1
Garrett Rank d. Turk Pettit 2 and 1
Ricky Castillo d. Eric Bae 1-up
Daniel Wetterich d. Frankie Capan 2 and 1
Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders