When Richard Scott recruited his college teammate to play in the Canadian Amateur this week, he was doing his part to help boost the quality of the field.
Little did fellow Georgia Bulldog Chris Kirk know his pal had another task in mind as well.
After being eliminated by Calgary's Ryan Yip yesterday morning, Kirk caddied for Scott in the afternoon round, a frighteningly easy 4 and 3 win over win over Craig Doell.
What Kirk, an All-American and one of the top amateurs in the U.S., saw close up was one of this country's best.
The defending champion from Kingsville, Ont., leads a stellar group of eight into the quarter-finals this morning at Mississaugua Golf and Country Club.
Combined with his win in 2003, Kirk is establishing himself as one of the top amateurs of his generation, a reputation that could be cemented by tomorrow night.
"Obviously it would mean a great deal to win a third title," said the long-hitting Scott, who teamed with Kirk at Georgia, one of the top programs in U.S. college golf.
"I still have a lot of work left and I'm focused on the next shot, never mind the next match. But winning one was great and winning two was very special. I can't even comprehend what winning three would be like."
First the reigning champ must face the reigning Canadian junior champ, Nick Taylor, in a quarter-final at 7:40 a.m.
If he takes care of that business, Scott will move on to this afternoon's semis trying to earn a spot in tomorrow's 36-hole final over the par-71, 7,100 yard layout.
"You never know what's going to happen in match play, but at least I feel I've got some momentum," the 23-year-old said.
Yesterday, Scott's biggest help came from an opponent who was shaky in the early going. Doell, a B.C. native who like Scott is a member of Canada's men's national amateur team, had trouble hitting fairways.
Scott didn't even have to make a birdie to get two up by the time they hit Mississaugua's third tee. Three holes later, the rout was at five-up after six.
Should Scott advance to the semis, he could get the chance to do what his teammate didn't. Calgary's Yip, who meets Aussie Ashley Hall, would be next up.
Meanwhile, yesterday's morning matches weren't kind to the stroke play co-medallists. Mark Leon of Brampton fell 2 and 1 to Dustin Wetherup while Kris Wasylowich of Lethbridge had the misfortune of playing Scott, and also lost 2 and 1.