ARDMORE, Pa. (Aug. 25, 2005) - After winning his second round morning match and advancing to the final 16 at the U.S. Amateur, ETSU junior golfer Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales) watched his run at a championship come to an end Thursday afternoon at the Merion Golf Club.
With American Austin Eaton III leading 2-up after eight holes in the third round match, Davies battled back to even things with a birdie at No. 9 and a par on the 12th. However, at that point Eaton regained the advantage on 16 with a par, both players double bogeyed the 17th, and a par on 18 was good enough to give Eaton the match.
For Davies, the defeat was a bitter end to a day which had started with a 4-and-2 victory over American Arnond Vongvanji. Davies was actually down twice on the front nine against Vongvanji, but each time he battled back to even the match. Davies finally took his own 1-up advantage with a par on No. 11, and then built on his lead with a par at No. 13, a birdie on the 14th and another par at 16.
Davies, whose major win on the international stage came at the 2003 British Boys Championship at Hoylake, has competed in both the Palmer Cup and Walker Cup this summer.
His resume also includes arguably the most successful individual campaign in ETSU history. Davies recorded school records for individual tournament titles (five), single-round score (63) and three-round score (199), while firing 13 sub-70 rounds and finishing in the Top 3 in nine of 12 events. For his efforts, Davies earned PING All-America honors, was ranked No. 2 nationally by Golfweek, and was a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award, which annually goes to the nation's top amateur player.
Davies, who finished the year with a team-best stroke average of 70.54, was selected as the Southern Conference Golfer of the Year and earned a spot in the NCAA Championships with his second-place finish at the NCAA East Regional.