University Place, Wash. – Byeong-Hun ‘Ben’ An became the first defending champion to reach the semifinals since Tiger Woods in 1996 with his win Friday in the quarterfinals of the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship at 7,742-yard, par-71 Chambers Bay.
An, an 18-year-old Korean native who surpassed Tiger Woods as the youngest U.S. Amateur winner at 17 in 2009, defeated University of California teammate Max Homa, 19, of Valencia, Calif., 1 up.
Tiger Woods won three consecutive U.S. Amateur championships from 1994-1996.
I passed my goal, said the unassuming An. I’m really happy I’m here right now but I guess I’ll be more happy if I get to the finals and win.
An, who played in nine professional events in 2010, including the U.S. Open, the Masters and the British Open, had not played in a match-play event since the 2009 U.S. Amateur.
Against Homa, he was 2 up through nine holes and never trailed in the match. He increased his lead to 3 up with a birdie on the par-4 12th before Homa retaliated with birdies on 13 and 14.
I try to get more focused when I’m winning, An said of his match-play philosophy. And, when I am losing, I’m trying to get rid of it and play the next hole. I think you have to be more focused and just finish out as soon as possible.
In the other quarterfinal matches, 2010 Western Amateur and Porter Cup champion David Chung, 20, of Fayetteville, N.C., defeated 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s champion and low amateur at the U.S. Open Scott Langley, 21, of St. Louis, Mo., 1 up; Patrick Cantlay, 18, of Los Alamitos, Calif., beat Jed Dirksen, 21, of Hampton, Iowa, in 20 holes; and Peter Uihlein, 20, of Orlando, Fla., edged USA Walker Cup and Oklahoma State teammate Morgan Hoffmann, 21, of Wyckoff, N.J., 1 up.
It was just a great duel, a battle the whole time, Chung said. Scott’s a great player and I knew it was going to be a ball-striking match.
Uihlein, who with An was the only repeat quarterfinalist from 2009, endured a back-and-forth match with his college friend Hoffmann.
It’s bittersweet, said Uihlein, who won the Sahalee Players event in the Seattle area earlier this summer. I just took out one of my best friends. It’s hard because seeing him after, he wasn’t happy. It’s hard for me to be excited when I just played him. But he played well. And I think that’s the way you want to go out.
The semifinal round will be played Saturday and the 36-hole final on Sunday.
The U.S. Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, which include the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and 10 strictly for amateurs.
University Place, Wash. – Results from Friday’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship, played at 7,742-yard, par-71 Chambers Bay.
David Chung, Fayetteville, N.C. (144) d. Scott Langley, St. Louis, Mo. (148), 1 up
Byeong-Hun An, Korea (147) d. Max Homa, Valencia, Calif. (145), 1 up
Patrick Cantlay, Los Alamitos, Calif. (137) vs. Jed Dirksen, Hampton, Iowa (147), 20 holes
Peter Uihlein, Orlando, Fla. (146) d. Morgan Hoffmann, Wyckoff, N.J. (144), 1 up
University Place, Wash. – Pairings for Saturday’s semifinal round of match play at the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship, played at 7,742-yard, par-71 Chambers Bay. (PDT)
8:30 a.m. - David Chung, Fayetteville, N.C. (144) vs. Byeong-Hun An, Korea (147)
8:45 a.m. - Patrick Cantlay, Los Alamitos, Calif. (137) vs. Peter Uihlein, Orlando, Fla. (146)