Fernandez de Oliveira’s Magical Putter Runner-Up at Western Amateur
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – Rising University of Arkansas senior and All-American Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira defeated Travis Vick 2&1 in the semifinals Saturday morning then turned around in the afternoon to finish runner-up at the prestigious Western Amateur Championship, played at Exmoor Country Club.
In the match play portion, Fernandez de Oliveira lost his first hole played in the opening Round of 16, won three of the next four holes and did not give up the lead until the 12th hole of his championship round.
In the semifinal match, Fernandez de Oliveira grabbed an early 3-Up lead with winning birdies on holes 3, 5 and 7. Vick, an All-American from the University of Texas and 2022 U.S. Open low amateur, got on the board with a birdie on hole 8. However, Fernandez de Oliveira answered by winning holes 9 and 10 to lead 4-Up. The duo tied holes 11 and 12 – thanks to an impressive putt from the fringe for par on 12 – before Vick won holes 13 and 14 to make things interesting. Fernandez de Oliveira grinded out pars on holes 15, 16 and 17 to secure the 2&1 win.
As he did in the morning semis, Fernandez de Oliveira also grabbed an early lead in the afternoon championship match versus Greaser, a two-time All-American at the University of North Carolina and 2021 U.S. Amateur runner-up. Fernandez de Oliveira won the opening hole and chipped in for birdie out the bunker on hole 3 for a 2-Up lead. Greaser cut his deficit in half by winning hole 4 and later squared the match by winning the 8th. Fernandez de Oliveira immediately answered by throwing a dart to 4-feet on the 9th hole and converting the birdie to regain the advantage.
— WGA Championships (@WGAChamps) August 6, 2022
The pair traded the next two holes, with Fernandez de Oliveira heading into the 13th with a 1-Up lead. Greaser took advantage of Fernandez de Oliveira’s missed birdie putt to win the hole and tie the match. Greaser then birdied the 14th hole to take his first lead of the round.
Greaser did not let up for the remainder of the afternoon and finished with a 1-hole margin over Fernandez de Oliveira.
Fernandez de Oliveira is ranked #29 in the World Amateur Golf Championship while Vick is ranked #15 and Greaser #8.
Fernandez de Oliveira and Wil Gibson will play in the U.S. Amateur Championship Aug. 15-21 in Paramus, N.J. Gibson qualified based on his WAGR ranking and Gibson was co-medalist at the Maumelle Qualifier (Desoto Golf Club), shooting 64-69.
Mateo was T-4th after stroke play (66-72-69-68=275 / -9)
In match play, Mateo:
– defeated Florida Gator and WAGR #47 Yuxin Lin, 6&4, in the Rd of 16
– defeated Vanderbilt Commodore and WAGR #22 Cole Sherwood, 3&1, in the quarterfinal
– defeated Texas Longhorn and WAGR #15 Travis Vick, 2&1, in the semifinal
Mateo has had a phenomenal 2022 to date.
– won the South America Amateur Championship
– runner-up at the Latin America Amateur
– 5th at the European Amateur Championship
– 9th at the NCAA Championship
– member of the winning Arnold Palmer Cup and was the only player from Team International to go a perfect 4-0
The Western Amateur is not only one of the most prestigious events in the world, but also is perhaps the most grueling events on any level. The event five days long with 18 holes each of the first two days, 36 holes on day three to declare a 72-hole medalist. Match play includes a Round of 16 and quarterfinals on Friday with the semifinals and championship on Saturday.