ARDMORE, Pa. — Ted Himka survived an early-morning playoff to earn the next-to-last place in the 64-man field, then went on to upset second-seeded Phil Mickelson Thursday in the first round of match play at the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship.
Himka, who just graduated from the University of Washington, beat Mickelson, the 1989 NCAA champion from Arizona State, 4 and 2, on the par-70, 6,523-yard Merion Golf Club.
Himka, 23, who won a first-round match in the tournament last year, never trailed after going 2-up with birdies on the first two holes.
Mickelson, 19, a U.S. Walker Cup player, drew even at the eighth with a 126-yard chip into the hole. But Himka regained the advantage on the next hole when he parred and Mickelson took a bogey.
Himka won two of the first three holes on the back nine for a 2-up lead, went 3-up at 14, and closed out the match at 16, rolling in a seven-foot par putt while Mickelson bogeyed.
Earlier, top-seeded Eoghan O'Connell survived a scare from 64th and lowest seed Tim Jackson.
O'Connell, a Britain-Ireland Walker Cup player, beat Jackson, a 30-year-old accountant from Memphis, Tenn., 1-up, shooting a 7-over par 77.
John Grace, a 41-year-old owner of a real estate company in Ft. Worth, ousted Neil Roderrick, 23, a Britain-Ireland Walker Cup player, 3 and 2. Roderrick was among the last group to qualify at 149.
Danny Yates, 39, a losing finalist in the tournament last year, defeated Buddy Alexander, the golf coach at the University of Florida and 1986 national amateur champion.
Yates won, 4 and 2, moving ahead for good at the 11th hole, where Alexander lost a ball off the tee and took a bogey.
In another upset, Dave Brookreson, 41, a Philadelphia sales representative who needed a playoff to qualify, defeated Doug Martin, 22, a Walker Cup member, 3 and 2.
Jay Sigel, 45, of Berwyn, Pa., the 1982 and '83 champion, won 3 and 1 over Dave Cunningham, 20, a senior at Arizona State.
Andrew Hare, Britain-Ireland Walker Cup player, beat Darren Veitch, a defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5 and 3. Robert Gamez, another Walker Cup player, eliminated Greg Kennedy, a Georgia junior, 2 and 1.