pretty good to have made it a little bit further than last year,” said the
recent Kent State graduate, who lost to eventual champion Matt Fitzpatrick in
the 2013 semifinals. “It was a lot of fun last year and I learned a lot. But
yeah, I’m just really excited about this year. I am playing some nice golf and I
am really pumped up for tomorrow to have some fun and try and finish it off.”
Yang, playing in his
first U.S. Amateur, defeated Pepperdine University junior Frederick Wedel, 19,
of The Woodlands, Texas, in 19 holes.
“I want to
win the tournament,” said Gunn, who had disc surgery in his back in May 2013. “Obviously
I want to put my name on the trophy with all the best players around the world.
Yeah, that's my goal.”
The 2014 U.S. Amateur
Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play, followed by six rounds of
match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on
Sunday, starting at 9 a.m. The second 18 holes is scheduled to begin at 2:20
Conners is the first
player to advance to at least the semifinals in back-to-back years since
Patrick Cantlay in 2010 (semifinals) and 2011 (final).
He won two
of the first three holes and held that 2-up advantage through seven holes, but
back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9 by Conners squared the match. On holes 12
and 13, McCarthy suffered consecutive bogeys to give Conners, the 2014
Mid-American Conference co-player of the year, a 2-up edge.
hole was maybe on 13,” said Conners, who is a member of the Canadian national
golf team. “We both hit nice approach shots and I was able to win the hole with
a par, and it gave me a little bit of a lead.”
Conners’ caddie is
fellow national team member and Kent State teammate and roommate Taylor
Pendrith, who advanced to the first round of match play at Atlanta Athletic
Club and has caddied for Conners since the second round of match play.
Previously, Conners had carried his own bag.
2010 U.S. Junior Amateur semifinalist, birdied the par-4 16th hole to narrow
the lead and both players made par at the 17th.
Off the tee
on the par-5 18th, Conners hit his ball in the left water hazard but recovered
with a 5-iron shot to 24 feet. With two putts, he won the match after McCarthy
converted a 7-foot par putt.
grew up in Korea and played competitive amateur golf in Australia for five
years, is a sophomore at San Diego State University. He built a 2-up lead
through four holes but Wedel, who defeated four-time USGA champion Nathan Smith
in the quarterfinals, won three of the next four holes for a 1-up lead.
the lead by winning holes 12 and 13 when Wedel carded bogeys. The match was
squared on the par-3 15th when Yang made a bogey. Wedel then missed a short
putt for par on the 17th for another lead change. With a 1-up lead on the 18th,
Yang hit his fairway bunker shot into the water and Wedel hit a 5-iron from the
same bunker to 8 feet, which became a conceded eagle to force extra holes when
Yang couldn’t convert his par putt.
Frederick was going for the green for sure,” said Yang about his decision to go
for the green from the bunker. “I just wanted to put more pressure on him,
really. That was the reason why I made that decision. I thought I made the
right decision, but it just didn't work.”
On the first extra hole,
both players drove in the fairway. Wedel’s 8-iron from 167 yards landed 40 feet
from the hole on the fringe and Yang hit a 56-degree wedge from 114 yards to 3 feet.
Yang won the match with birdie after Wedel converted his putt for par.
By virtue of reaching
the U.S. Amateur Championship final, Conners and Yang have each earned an
exemption into the 2015 U.S. Open – provided they remain amateurs – and a
likely invitation to next year’s Masters Tournament. The champion receives an
exemption into the 2015 British Open Championship.
earn an exemption into the 2015 U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Results from Saturday’s
semifinal round of match play at the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship at
7,167-yard, par-71 Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands Course).
Yang, Republic of Korea (141) def. Frederick Wedel, The Woodlands, Texas (144),
Conners, Canada (142) def. Denny McCarthy, Rockville, Md. (141), 1 up
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Pairing for Sunday’s
championship round of match play at the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship at 7,400-yard,
par-71 Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands Course) (All times EDT):
Championship (36 holes)*
–Gunn Yang, Republic of Korea (141) vs. Corey Conners, Canada (142)
round is scheduled to begin at 2:20 p.m.