Riley, Zalatoris to Meet in U.S. Junior Am Final at Carlton Woods


U.S. Junior Amateur finalists William Zalatoris (left) and Davis Riley both desperately want to win a championship title in their last year of eligibility. (USGA/Jonathan Ernst)
By Greg Midland, USGA
July 25, 2014

 

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Looking at the bracket two days ago at the start of the round of 64, it would have been difficult to draw up a more intriguing matchup for the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship final than the one that has transpired naturally here at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course: Davis Riley, of Hattiesburg, Miss., vs. William Zalatoris, of Plano, Texas.

 

 

The two 17-year-olds, good friends and each in their last year of eligibility for this championship, survived a thrilling but exhausting run through the quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday and will have the opportunity to hoist a trophy that has eluded them for many years.

Zalatoris has the edge in experience, as he is playing in his fifth U.S. Junior Amateur, which ties a record for the most appearances. He is attempting to become the seventh Texan since 1999 to win this championship, and has been supremely comfortable all week with the demands of the course and the heat.

He also has done an admirable job of sticking to his game plan during match play, which served him well during his 1-up semifinal defeat of Curtis Luck, of Australia. Zalatoris looked to be in control of the match, leading 3 up through 13, before Luck went on a roll to tighten things up.

“Even when he won three in a row, 14-16, and then his putt [from the fringe] should have gone in on 17 when it hit the flagstick, I just stayed patient and I knew exactly what I needed to do,” said Zalatoris. “Like I’ve said all week, my ball-striking has held up as well as it has all year.

“It was a fun day today. This is what you live for, being under the gauntlet. It was a lot of fun.”

If tomorrow’s 36-hole final, which gets underway at 8 a.m. CDT, will also end up being fun for Zalatoris, he will have to get past a talented and motivated opponent in Riley.

Riley, who lost the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur final to Scottie Scheffler, has made no secret this week about wanting to avenge that stinging defeat. He is attempting to become the first player since Tim Straub in 1982-83 to lose a U.S. Junior Amateur final and then win it the following year.

For a while it looked as if Riley would be denied that chance. He won the first hole to take a quick 1-up lead over his semifinal opponent, Sam Horsfield, of England, but his cushion was short-lived. Horsfield won the second hole to square the match and then, from the fourth through the 15th holes, Horsfield led Riley by either a 1-up or 2-up margin.

Riley squared the match with a birdie on the par-4 16th, and after that the two players limped to the finish. Riley had a 3-footer for par on 18 that would have won the match, but the putt slid by and the match went to extra holes.

“I just told myself there was nothing I can do about that putt now, so I might as well just shake it off and go to the next hole,” said Riley.

He had to shake off another miss, a 4-footer for par on the second hole (20th of the match), that also would have clinched the victory, before finally converting a 3-footer on the 21st hole to eliminate Horsfield.

“Tomorrow, I just need to play consistent, keep the ball in front of me, and make a lot of birdies,” said Riley. “It’s going to be a tough match, because anybody who gets this far is playing well. But you just have to go out there and try to get the win.”

By virtue of making it to the U.S. Junior final, Riley did meet the first of his goals – gaining entry to next month’s U.S. Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga. He attempted to qualify a few weeks ago but missed out by three strokes, and now is assured a place in the field.

But before he starts thinking ahead to future USGA championships, he will be focused on the one that is nearly in his grasp yet again.

Live scoring for the final match will be available on usga.org, and live on-course updates will be posted at www.twitter.com/usga.

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

67TH U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Results

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Results from Friday morning’s quarterfinal round at the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course (7,156 yards, par 72):

William Zalatoris, Plano, Texas (140) def. Sean Crocker, Zimbabwe (137), 3 and 2

Curtis Luck, Australia (141) def. Will Grimmer, Cincinnati, Ohio (138), 2 up

Sam Horsfield, England (137) def. Andreas Halvorsen, Norway (148), 1 up

Davis Riley, Hattiesburg, Miss. (138) def. Andy Zhang, People’s Republic of China (143), 2 up

Results

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Results from Friday afternoon’s semifinal round at the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course (7,156 yards, par 72):

William Zalatoris, Plano, Texas (140) def. Curtis Luck, Australia (141), 1 up

Davis Riley, Hattiesburg, Miss. (138) def. Sam Horsfield, England, 21 holes 

Pairings

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Pairings for Saturday’s 36-hole final match at the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course (Central Daylight Time):

8 a.m. William Zalatoris, Plano, Texas (140) vs. Davis Riley, Hattiesburg, Miss. (138) 

 

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