No area players remain at Amateur after Franks, Elder fall

ST. LOUIS — The final two area players competing in the Missouri Amateur golf tournament were eliminated after the morning session of play Friday at the Norwood Hills Country Club West Course.

Blair Oaks golfers Kory Franks and Tanner Elder both suffered losses in the round of 32 in match play, Franks falling 3 and 2 to Mitch Rutledge of St. Louis and Elder losing 1-up to Steve Groom of Raytown.

Rutledge struck first in his match with Franks, winning the second hole with a birdie and taking the fourth with a par.

But Franks rallied, winning the next three holes thanks to two birdies sandwiched around a par.

Rutledge then won the eight hole to square the match, where it stayed for three more holes. Rutledge then went up with a bogey on the par-3 12th hole when Franks double-bogeyed it.

A birdie for Rutledge on the 15th hole closed out the match.

Elder never led in his match with Groom, and was only even for one hole when both players parred the first.

Groom won the second hole with a par and took the third with a birdie to go 2-up. His lead was three after he parred the fifth and Elder bogeyed it.

Elder got back within one when he birdied the ninth and parred the 10th, but the players halved the next eight holes to keep Groom’s lead at 1-up.

Rutledge went on to beat St. Louis’ Ryan Buerk 3 and 2 to advance to today’s quarterfinals, while Groom failed to move on after suffering a 1-up loss in 19 holes to Mark Gardiner of Mascoutah, Ill.

The event continues today with quarterfinals in the morning and semifinals in the afternoon, before a 36-hole final Sunday.

For complete results, please see C5.

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