Whalen and Wu post eight birdies to take U.S. Amateur Four-Ball lead

Defending champions Nathan Smith (left) and partner Todd White on the eighth. 

Fred Vuich/USGA Museum

Northwestern University teammates Andrew Whalen and Dylan Wu combined for eight birdies and no bogeys to shoot an 8-under 62 and take the lead after the first day of stroke play at the USGA U.S. Amateur Four-Ball on Saturday at the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

The 22-year-old Whalen, a former U.S. Junior Amateur quarterfinalist (who lost to eventual champion Jordan Spieth in 2011), and 19-year-old Wu, who placed sixth in this year’s Big Ten Championship, finished two strokes better than the lowest stroke-play score at last year’s inaugural championship at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

"I think we are a good pairing," Wu told the USGA. "I am confident in my driving capabilities and he hits really far. We both made key putts today for momentum."

Defending champions Nathan Smith and Todd White were five strokes behind with a 3-under 67. White, the 48-year-old high school history teacher from Spartanburg, South Carolina, scored an ace on the 153-yard seventh. 

"The conditions were perfect," White said. "I am appreciative of the venues: The Olympic Club last year and Winged Foot this year. What more can you ask for?"

The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by five rounds of match play.

Both Winged Foot’s par-70, 6,728-yard East Course and par-70, 7,033-yard West Course were utilized during the stroke-play portion of the championship.