U.S. Junior Quarterfinals Set; Top 4 Seeds Still Alive


Davis Riley, the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up, survived a close round of 16 match with Aaron DeNucci to reach the quarterfinals. (USGA/Jonathan Ernst)
By Greg Midland, USGA
July 24, 2014

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Eight players remain in the hunt at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course to become the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur champion. It’s clear from the depth of their talent, the hot, humid weather and the demands of this 7,000-yard-plus course that the winner will need his game and his endurance at peak levels.

 

In contrast to Thursday morning’s round of 32, in which only one of 16 matches extended to the 18th hole, five of eight matches in the afternoon went the distance, or more.

Stroke play co-medalist Sean Crocker, of Zimbabwe, continued his fine play with a hard-fought 20-hole victory over good friend Sahith Theegala, of Chino Hills, Calif. The two players, who live about an hour apart from each other in the Los Angeles area, had a seesaw match that saw Crocker take a 3-up lead through four holes only to have Theegala win three out of the next four, including an eagle-2 on the 273-yard, par-4 sixth hole, to pull back to all square.

While Crocker won Nos. 10 and 11 to regain a 2-up advantage, Theegala squared the match again with wins on the 13th and 18th holes. When Theegala bogeyed the par-4 second hole (the 20th of the match), Crocker advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in his junior career.

In the quarterfinals, he will face a formidable opponent and home-state favorite William Zalatoris, of Plano, Texas. Playing in his fifth career U.S. Junior Amateur, Zalatoris knew not to panic when he found himself 3 down through five holes in his round-of-16 match against Will Dickson.

“I learned how to spell patience today,” said Zalatoris. “I’ve been in scenarios where you’re down big and you just never know. I could tell when I won five holes in a nine-hole stretch that he was starting to get a little impatient himself, so I made sure I stuck to my game and stayed with the process. It was a fun day. This is what you live for.”

On the same side of the match-play bracket as Crocker and Zalatoris, another quarterfinal pits Will Grimmer, of Cincinnati, against Curtis Luck, of Australia. Grimmer, who is having an outstanding summer in which he qualified for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, nearly won the Ohio State Amateur and is already exempt for next month’s U.S. Amateur, was forced to play past the 16th hole for the first time in three rounds of match play.

“It’s the nature of match play that this morning I played phenomenally and so did the other kid, and then this afternoon we both kind of played poorly,” said Grimmer. “The greens were definitely firmer and faster, and the balls were running out more because of the heat, and so I have to think that through tomorrow and make those adjustments between morning and afternoon.”

Luck had the least stressful day of the quarterfinalists, closing out his first opponent on the 16th hole and then defeating Joshua McCarthy, of Danville, Calif., 5 and 4. The 17-year-old Luck, who is enjoying his first year as part of the Australian national team, was helped by having teammate and round-of-64 competitor Ryan Ruffels on his bag for both of Thursday’s matches.

“I played much better this afternoon than this morning,” he said. “It’s very relaxing having someone you know on the bag. I definitely play better when I have a friend, more than anything, as a caddie. It’s more about having a good chat between shots and just keeping my mind away from golf when I’m not actually over the ball.”

All of the top four seeds from stroke play are still alive in the championship. In addition to Crocker (1) and Grimmer (4), No. 2 seed Sam Horsfield, of England, advanced after a tense 1-up victory over Zach Murray, of Australia, while No. 3 seed Davis Riley, of Hattiesburg, Miss., overcame a slow start to defeat Aaron DeNucci, of Clive, Iowa, 2 and 1. Horsfield will face Andreas Halvorsen, of Norway, who made it to match play as the 58th seed but is showing he has the game to compete with the best juniors in the country.

Riley, the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up, was 3 down through four holes and had to gather himself for a comeback.

“I just told myself to gut it out and really fight hard through that stretch, and I did that,” said Riley, who didn’t take a lead in his match against DeNucci until the 16th hole. Riley would desperately like to keep on winning to erase last year’s stinging defeat to Scottie Scheffler.

“I definitely want a little revenge this year, get myself back in that position and then finish it a little better than I did last year,” he said.

To do it, he’ll have to get past Andy Zhang, of the People’s Republic of China, in the quarterfinal round. Zhang led for most of the day but had tense moments down the stretch when he lost the 16th and 17th holes to see his 2-up lead evaporate heading to the dramatic par-5 18th.

“My heart was beating about 500 times a minute,” said Zhang about standing on the 18th tee. “But I was able to make a good swing, then I hit my second shot on the green and was able to two-putt for birdie and the win.”

Just like today, two rounds of match play are again scheduled for Friday. Unlike today, however, when the field was whittled down from 32 players to eight, there will only be two finalists still in the race for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship trophy by the end of Friday.

The quarterfinals begin at 7:30 a.m. CDT, with the two semifinal matches following at 12:45 p.m. and 1 p.m. CDT. Live scoring for all matches will be available at www.usga.org.

Greg Midland is the director of editorial and multimedia content for the USGA. Email him at gmidland@usga.org.

Results
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Results from Thursday morning’s round of 32 at the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, conducted at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course (7,177 yards, par 72):

Sean Crocker, Zimbabwe (137) def. John Augenstein, Owensboro, Ky. (146), 3 and 2

Sahith Theegala, Chino Hills, Calif. (147) def. Nathan Jeansonne, Keithville, La. (142), 4 and 3

William Zalatoris, Plano, Texas (140) def. Zecheng Dou, People’s Republic of China (144), 3 and 2

Will Dickson, Providence, R.I. (148) def. John Pak, Scotch Plains, N.J. (144), 4 and 3

Will Grimmer, Cincinnati, Ohio (138) def. Cole Madey, West Linn, Ore., 5 and 4

Anton Serafini, Lake Mary, Fla. (148) def. Eric Bae, Cary, N.C. (143), 2 and 1

Joshua McCarthy, Danville, Calif. (149) def. Dwight Cauthen, Columbia, S.C. (147), 4 and 3

Curtis Luck, Australia (141) def. Tanner Owens, Milton, Tenn., 4 and 2

Sam Horsfield, England (137) def. Won Jun Lee, Republic of Korea (146), 3 and 2

Zach Murray, Australia (143) def. Philip Barbaree, 3 and 2

Andreas Halvorsen, Norway (148) def. Joshua Sedeno, Roseville, Calif., 2 up

Davis Shore, Knoxville, Tenn. (143) def. David Snyder, McAllen, Texas, 2 and 1

Davis Riley, Hattiesburg, Miss. (138) def. Ashwin Arasu, San Diego, Calif. (145), 5 and 4

Aaron DeNucci, Clive, Iowa (148) def. Bryce Hendrix, Greenville, N.C. (143), 2 and 1

Doc Redman, Raleigh, N.C. (144) def. Braden Thornberry, Olive Branch, Miss. (140), 4 and 3

Andy Zhang, People's Republic of China (143) def. Tony Gil, Canada (141), 5 and 3

67th U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Results
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Results from Thursday afternoon’s round of 16 at the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, conducted at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course (all times Central Daylight Time):

Sean Crocker, Zimbabwe (137) def. Sahith Theegala, Chino Hills, Calif. (147), 20 holes

William Zalatoris, Plano, Texas (140) def. Will Dickson, Providence, R.I. (148), 1 up

Will Grimmer, Cincinnati, Ohio (138) def. Anton Serafini, Lake Mary, Fla. (148), 2 up

Curtis Luck, Australia (141) def. Joshua McCarthy, Danville, Calif. (149), 5 and 4

Sam Horsfield, England (137) def. Zach Murray, Australia (143), 1 up

Andreas Halvorsen, Norway (148) def. Davis Shore, Knoxville, Tenn., 4 and 3

Davis Riley, Hattiesburg, Miss. (138) def. Aaron DeNucci, Clive, Iowa, 2 and 1

Andy Zhang, People’s Republic of China (143) def. Doc Redman, Raleigh, N.C. (144), 1 up

Pairings
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Pairings for Friday morning’s quarterfinals at the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, conducted at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course (all times Central Daylight Time):

7:30 a.m.  Sean Crocker, Zimbabwe (137) vs. William Zalatoris, Plano, Texas (140)

7:40 a.m.  Will Grimmer, Cincinnati, Ohio (138) vs. Curtis Luck, Australia (141)

7:50 a.m.  Sam Horsfield, England (137) vs. Andreas Halvorsen, Norway (148)

8 a.m.       Davis Riley, Hattiesburg, Miss. (138) vs. Andy Zhang, People’s Republic of China (143)

 

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
 
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image