Alex Scott was saying the other day that at a golf course as demanding as Pebble Beach Golf Links, par would almost always be your friend.
Those words proved prophetic — and not in the way he had hoped.
Scott made four bogeys and one double bogey in his Round of 64 match at the U.S. Amateur — and he lost all five of those holes in his match with William Mouw, including the decisive blow on the famous 18th green at Pebble Beach on Wednesday.
Scott had a 3-up lead after nine holes, and still a 1-up lead with three holes to play, before he lost Nos. 16 and 18 with bogeys.
"It's much easier said than done," Scott, a rising senior at Grand Valley State and a Traverse City native, said over the phone Wednesday night. "But you don't ever want to give holes away to pars.
"At the same time, it happens."
Scott fell behind early, on the second hole, to Mouw, the top-ranked junior amateur golfer in the world who was playing in his home state. But Scott won five of the next seven holes — including with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 8 and 9 — to take a commanding lead through the front nine.
Mouw made an impressive birdie to win the tough par-4 10th, then won with a par on the 11th to cut Scott's lead to one hole.
They halved the next four holes, before a couple loose swings cost Scott down the stretch. Mouw's par to Scott's bogey at the par-5 18th sealed it.
Scott, 21, was one of four Michigan players in the 312-man U.S. Amateur field, but the only one to advance to the match-play portion of the tournament.
Donnie Trosper, a Canton native who plays golf at Central Florida, was in a 24-man playoff for the final match-play spot early Wednesday morning. Trosper was eliminated on the first playoff hole.
Scott finished the first two days at 1 under, tied for 10th, to easily make match play — continuing some exceptional play of late, including a win in the Michigan PGA Tournament of Champions earlier this summer.
From that perspective, Scott said it's hard to be too disappointed in bowing out of the U.S. Amateur after just one match. That said, the competitive side of him still is a bit irked.
"Yeah, it was an unfortunate ending. I hate losing, every part about it — but it just makes me work harder," said Scott, while acknowledging the grit of his opponent who hung in there when he could've packed it in. "But I did get to play 36 holes of tournament golf at Pebble Beach, and 18 at Spyglass Hill.
"So, I can't complain too much about that. If I did, that would make me a snobby country-clubber."