AUSTRALIAN amateurs Ryan Ruffels, Brett Coletta and Maverick Antcliff will advance to the match play stage of the US Amateur after excelling in the two strokeplay rounds at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago, Illinois.
Coletta shot a second round 4-under 66 on Wednesday (AEST) to top the leaderboard at the US Amateur when play was suspended because of darkness.
The 19-year-old Victorian reached 7-under 133 through two days and looks set to lead the top 64 players at the end of the strokeplay rounds of America's oldest golf tournament.
Queenslander Antcliff, 22, carded five birdies on the inward nine of the South Course to power his way to a 5-under 65 in his second round and three-under total of 137.
He is in a tie for sixth.
Victorian 17-year old Ruffels backed up an impressive 4-under 66 opening round on the North Course with a disappointing 2-over second round on the South Course, but is still in a tie for ninth.
The top 64 players advance to the match play stage that decides the title - with the two finalists earning invitations to next year's Masters Tournament at Augusta National.
"At home, everyone says this is the tournament to get into," Coletta said after his second round.
"This is the tournament to win. This is the biggest experience you're going to get, and it's hyped up to be what it is.
"So I've come here, and all the stands are up, all you guys out here, the TV cameras will be out tomorrow.
"This is a great experience for me, coming to play this event, and to play well is even better."
Antcliff is a student and member of the golf team at Georgia Regents University, which is located in Augusta, home of the Masters.
"Growing up in Australia, we play a lot of match play. It's been a few years, but it's always fun," he said.
Fellow Australian Lucas Herbert is one stroke outside the cut line at 4-over after two days and won't feature in the match play.
Austin Bautista, Curtis Luck and Troy Moses still have holes to play due to the weather delay but are unlikely to progress, while Cameron Davis' and Antonio Murdaca's tournaments are also over.
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