Williamson ousted from US Amateur

Just qualifying for match play in a U.S. Amateur Golf Championship is a big accomplishment.

Thousands of top players around the world attempt to be one of the 312 who reach the tournaments 36-hole qualifying rounds. Just the top 64 make it to match play.

But as Hanover’s Peter Williamson found out Wednesday in Cherry Hills, Colo., the better score you post during qualifying rounds the better chance you have of advancing.

Because he tied for the final qualifying spot and had to emerge as one of 14 players in a 17-man playoff on Wednesday morning, Williamson wound up the 55th seed.

This left him matched up with No. 10 seed Chris Williams in the first round on Wednesday. It couldn’t have been a much tougher draw.

Williams was a University of Washington first-team All-American and a Walker Cup participant, which is the amateur version of the Ryder Cup that only top amateurs are invited to, this year.

Williams, who shot qualifying scores of 65 and 73 to finish with the 10th seed, defeated Williamson 3 and 2. Williams, who never trailed, went 3-up with a birdie on the par 3 15th hole at Cherry Hills Country Club and clinched when both players had pars on 16.

Williamson was one of five New Hampshire players to participate in the qualifying rounds. Dartmouth College teammate James Pleat of Nashua shot a five-over 146 and was three strokes shy of the playoff for the final spots.

Keene’s Chelso Barrett (150) and New Castles Nick McLaughlin (149) fell short, as did Nashua’s Phil Pleat, who shot an 82 on Monday and withdrew after 11 holes on Tuesday because of illness.