TRUCKEE, Calif. – John Augenstein, 15, of Owensboro, Ky., defeated Sam Horsfield, 16, of England, on the 20th hole on Friday in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at the 7,740-yard, par-72 Martis Camp Club.
Augenstein, who is playing in his first USGA championship and is the youngest player remaining in the championship draw, made a 4-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole, the par-4 16th, to advance to this afternoon’s semifinals.
Following the semifinals, the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship will conclude with a 36-hole final on Saturday, starting at 7 a.m. PDT.
The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Augenstein, who upended 2010 Junior Amateur champion and this year’s stroke-play medalist Jim Liu in the second round, had a 1-up lead heading to No. 18 but his tee shot found the left fairway bunker, leading to a double bogey. After the players halved the first extra hole, the par-5 15th, Horsfield nearly holed his second shot on No. 16 by hitting the flagstick from a greenside bunker, but missed his 7-foot birdie attempt. Augenstein knocked a wedge close to set up his winning putt.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Augenstein, who is listed at No. 5,400 in the current World Amateur Golf Ranking. “I didn’t putt very well today. I had a bad 18th hole. I could have closed him out there. I had a 20-footer [for par] that I thought I needed to make. I should have just two-putted and that would have sealed it. It is a really, really special thing and I’m happy that I am in this position.”
Horsfield, who had dominated his previous three opponents in match play with 14 birdies in 36 holes, was 2-down on the inward nine, but sliced the deficit in half with a birdie at the par-3 14th. He halved No. 16 with a 6-foot birdie putt before winning No. 18 with a bogey.
“I played pretty poorly today on the front nine,” said Horsfield, who had reached the Round of 16 at last week’s U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and won the Florida State Amateur in June. “I hit a lot of loose shots; I hit it left on a couple of holes, 8 and 9. I hit it good on the range, [but] it’s just golf.”
Doug Ghim, 17, of Arlington Heights, Ill., upended second-seeded Cameron Young, 16, of Scarborough, N.Y., in his quarterfinal match, 4 and 3. Ghim made consecutive birdies to build a 3-up margin. He ran in a 60-foot birdie putt on No. 9 and followed with another birdie at the 642-yard, par-5 10th. His 45-foot eagle putt on No. 15 closed out the match.
“I couldn’t be more happy to be here right now,” said Ghim, who reached the Round of 16 at the 2012 Junior Amateur and barely advanced through this year’s 36-hole stroke play qualifying to the match-play bracket. “I saw myself outside the cut line. It’s just not a good place to be. It is like a second life.”
Scottie Scheffler, the third seed, will meet Ghim in the semifinal round after making six birdies en route to a 3-and-2 win over P.J. Samiere, 17, of Kailua, Hawaii. Scheffler, 17, of Dallas, sank a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth for a 2-up lead. He won Nos. 11 and 13 with pars and closed the match with an approach shot to 4 feet at No. 16.
“It means a lot [reaching the semifinals] because it’s my last one [Junior Amateur],” said Scheffler, who will meet his good friend Ghim for the first time in a match-play event. “I want to win the tournament. I am playing good golf.”
Davis Riley, the fifth seed, will square off with Augenstein in the semifinals following a 4-and-2 decision against Zecheng Dou, 16, of the People’s Republic of China. The 16-year-old from Hattiesburg, Miss., eagled the par-4 12th with a 9-iron from 148 yards to highlight his round. Riley built 3-up advantage on the outward nine with birdies at holes 3, 6 and 7, converting a 10-footer for birdie on the par-5 seventh.
“Everything was really clicking,” said Riley, who advanced to the Round of 32 at last year’s Junior Amateur. “I putted really good on the front nine. [I] had a couple of really good up and downs to keep the momentum. Everything was solid.”
Brian DePasquale is a manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email him at email@example.com.