U.S. Amateur quarterfinals: Four American college golfers move to the final four
An all-American Final Four at the 117th U.S. Amateur Championship was solidified when Vanderbilt’s Theo Humphrey and Clemson’s Doc Redman took their quarterfinal match play events to the final hole before claiming victory at Riviera Country Club on Friday afternoon in the Pacific Palisades.
Humphrey, the 21-year-old from Greenwich, Conn., converted a clutch par putt for a 1 up win moments after Chun-An Yu, the 18-year-old from Arizona State out of Taipei, made a dramatic par putt to put the pressure on Humphrey to either win it or go to an extra hole.
Two down after eight holes, Humphrey nailed a birdie 3 at No. 9 and won four of the next five holes to change the momentum.
“My dad (Tom, carrying his bag) said something – I can’t recall exactly – but something like, ‘This is our hole and we’re going to turn it around,’ and I hit a good tee shot and kept it going from there,” Humphrey said.
Redman, a 19-year-old from Raleigh, N.C., who made it into the final 64 after an early Wednesday playoff for one of the final slots, also won 1 up thanks to a par putt save following an effective chip on the 18th green. Australia’s Travis Smyth, 2 up after 12, watched Redman win 13, 14 and 15 with a birdie and two pars. Smyth took No. 17 to make it all square, leading to the drama on 18, but Smyth’s wedge shot off the green stuck in the rough and he dribbled his ball onto the putting surface.
Two more college standout players – Texas’ Doug Ghim, a 2 and 1 winner over Scotland’s Connor Syme, and Virginia Tech’s Martin Lawrence Jr., a 3 and 2 winner over Dawson Armstrong – finished off the semifinal pairings.
Ghim, a 21-year-old from just outside of Chicago who also had his father on his bag, will face Humphrey at 8 a.m. Saturday. Lawrence Jr., the 20-year-old from Richmond, Va., takes on Redman at 8:20 a.m.
Ghim, who often plays with a Chicago Cubs cap, remains the highest-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings at No. 7. He won a match against Syme that could be replayed in the upcoming Walker Cup match set for Sept. 9-10 at the L.A. Country Club.
“Whenever you’re in a quarterfinal of semifinal or final match, it gets a little more nervy and I think both Connor and I have tremendous respect for each other and that made it more difficult knowing how good the other side was,” said Ghim, who Thursday morning eliminated Pepperdine’s Sahith Theegala in 19 holes.
“The winds definitely showed up today, a little stronger than yesterday,” Ghim added. “Fortunately, this ended in my favor.”
The winners Saturday have have to endure a 36-hole match play event beginning at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday for the Havemeyer Trophy.
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