Aug. 21, 2012
On Friday, Australian golfer Oliver Goss' hot streak finally went cold. The newest Volunteer's hope at the US Amateur Championship was cut short, as he was defeated in the Round of 8 by Alabama's Justin Thomas.
Goss, a native of Perth, Australia, came out of the gate quick, finding himself up as much as 2-up after six holes. However, Goss would never see the lead again as Thomas won the 9th hole by making par and never really looked back. Goss closed in on the lead by winning the 17th hole, which cut Thomas' lead to one heading into the final hole. But, Thomas made par on the 18th to win the hole and the match (2-up).
Even though the soon-to-be Tennessee freshman lost the match, he gained much respect and proved he will be a force to be reckoned with this year.
"It was pretty back and forth," Alabama's Thomas told USGA.com after the round. "[Goss] got up early, and then I won 7, 8 and 9, so that kind of gave me the momentum ... It was a hard match. You're obviously not going to get any easy matches at this point in the U.S. Amateur."
The Match Play at the US Amateur will not be the last time Goss and Thomas meet. At the very least, Goss will get a shot at redemption at the SEC Championship in April.
Throughout the week of play at Cherry Hills in Denver, Colo., Goss was nearly unstoppable. During the first two days of Stroke Play, Goss posted a 3-under par over two rounds qualifying him for the Match Play. His second round of play saw him shoot a 4-under par (66) leaving his two-day total at 72-66. Goss' 3-under was good enough to see him finish tied for 7th in the Stroke Play standings.
During Match Play, Goss tore through the competition. The tournament of 64 saw Goss eliminate TCU's Eli Cole (3&1), Penn State's Michael Miller in extra holes (2&1) and Bobby Leopold (2&1) before falling (2&1) to Alabama's Thomas in the Round of 8.
To see recaps of Oliver Goss' matches:
Round of 8 vs. Thomas (Alabama):Click Here.
Round of 16 vs. Leopold (Rhode Island): Click Here.
Round of 32 vs. Miller (Penn State): Click Here.
Round of 64 vs. Cole (TCU): Click Here.
Goss' outstanding play at the US Amateur is great source of optimism for the Volunteers' 2012-13 season. Tennessee head coach Jim Kelson was very pleased with Goss' performance at the US Amateur.
"We are absolutely thrilled for Oliver right now." UT head coach Jim Kelson said. "We knew he had the potential to perform at this high level. We, here at Tennessee, are very confident in Oliver's ability to compete. I know all of Vol Nation will pulling for him this year".
Goss was the top Australian qualifier for the US Amateur after finishing tied for 7th place with the aforementioned 3-under par. His solid play at the US Amateur has the Volunteers' excited about his arrival on campus.
"Oliver is the highest ranked player we have recruited to the University of Tennessee," Coach Kelson said. "He certainly possesses all of the tools to excel in intercollegiate golf. We look forward to helping Oliver reach all of his goals and aspirations".
The Perth National Squad member, who is a top 50 points leader in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, is considered one of the finest young golfers in the world. He is the winner of the prestigious 2012 Western Australian Amateur. Goss has complied an extensive resume as an amateur player. He finished tied for second in stroke play portion at the 2012 Australian Amateur ad tied for fifth in 2012 Malaysian Amateur Open.
To catch Goss in action this season, check out the recently released 2012-13 Volunteer Men's Golf schedule: Click Here.
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