July 13, 2007
Wheaton, Ill. -
Cody Paladino, an incoming freshman, won a pair of matches on Friday to qualify for Saturday's 36-hole championship match of the 2007 U.S. Public Amateur Links Championship at Cantigny Golf.
Paladino (Kensington, Conn.) posted a pair of 1-up victories over two third team All-Americans: UCLA junior Lucas Lee in the quarterfinals, and Louisville senior Derek Fathauer in the semifinals.
The future Bear was all square going to 18 in both matches. Lee's tee shot found the woods, and Paladino finished with par to advance to the semifinals. In the afternoon match, Fathauer's approach was long and left, and his chip failed to make it out of the rough. Paladino stuck his approach shot and two-putted for the win.
"My caddie (John Menqual) just said to me, `On the green and two putts and we are back tomorrow,' " said Paladino.
Paladino was 2-down after 13 holes when he birdied 14 and won 16 with a par to square the match.
"I hit it in the water and mess of the 13th hole," said Paladino, the 2006 Connecticut State Golf Association Player of the Year. "I played it like a 30-handicapper. Walking to the 14th tee, my caddie and I had a little conversation. I marked a new golf ball and said, `All right, this is the one and we're going to do it.' "
Paladino will face off against Colt Knost of Dallas, Texas in tomorrow's Championship. Knost defeated Robert Rohanna 2-up in the morning's quarterfinals, and downed Corey Nagy 3-and-2 in the afternoon match.
Both Paladino and Knost are now exempt into the 2007 U.S. Amateur at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., but Saturday's winner will likely receive an invitation to the 2008 Masters.
The 36-hole championship will begin tomorrow morning at the 7,048-yard, par-72 course at 7:30 a.m. Tee time for the afternoon round is 12:15 p.m.
To read more about Paladino at the APL Championships click here