Fernandez de Oliveira Magic Putter Finalist at Western Amateur
HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois. – Rising University of Arkansas senior and All-American Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira defeated Travis Vick 2&1 in the semifinals on Saturday morning, then turned around in the afternoon to finish second in the prestigious Western Amateur Championship, played at the Exmoor Country Club.
In match play, Fernandez de Oliveira lost his first hole played in the first round of 16, won three of the next four holes and did not give up the lead until 12e hole in his championship round.
In the semifinal match, Fernandez de Oliveira took an early 3-Up lead with game-winning birdies on holes 3, 5 and 7. Vick, a University of Texas All-American and weak amateur from the US Open 2022, got on the board with a birdie on hole 8. However, Fernandez de Oliveira responded 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 the par 12 – before Vick won holes 13 and 14 to make things interesting. Fernandez de Oliveira crushed the pars on holes 15, 16 and 17 to secure the 2&1 victory.
As he did in the morning semifinals, Fernandez de Oliveira also took an early lead in the afternoon championship game against Greaser, a two-time All-American at the University of North Carolina and 2021 American amateur runner-up. Fernandez de Oliveira won the first hole and birdied the hole 3 bunker for a 2-Up lead. Greaser cut his deficit in half by winning the 4th hole and later tied the game by winning the 8th. Fernandez de Oliveira responded immediately by throwing a 4-foot dart on the 9th hole and converting the birdie to regain the lead.
— WGA Championships (@WGACamps) August 6, 2022
The pair swapped the next two holes, with Fernandez de Oliveira heading for the 13e with a 1-Up lead. Greaser took advantage of Fernandez de Oliveira’s missed putt to win the hole and tie the match. Greaser then birdied on the 14the hole to take his first lead of the round.
Greaser held on for the rest of the afternoon and finished with a one-hole margin over Fernandez de Oliveira.
Fernandez de Oliveira is ranked No. 29 in the World Amateur Golf Championship while Vick is ranked No. 15 and Greaser is No. 8.
Fernandez de Oliveira and Wil Gibson will play in the USA Amateur Championship August 15-21 at Paramus, NJ 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 quarter-finals
– defeated Texas Longhorn and WAGR #15 Travis Vick, 2&1, in the semifinals
Mateo has had a phenomenal 2022 so far.
– won the South American Amateur Championship
– Latin America Amateur finalist
– 5th at the European Amateur Championship
– 9th in the NCAA championship
– member of the Arnold Palmer Cup winner and was the only Team International player to achieve a perfect 4-0
The Western Amateur is not only one of the most prestigious events in the world, but it is also perhaps the most grueling event on any level. The event lasts five days with 18 holes each of the first two days, 36 holes on the third day to declare a 72-hole medalist. Match play includes a round of 16 and quarter-finals on Friday with the semi-finals and the championship on Saturday.