University Place, Wash. – David Chung, 20, of Fayetteville, N.C., overcame the strong start of defending champion Byeong-Hun ‘Ben’ An in the semifinals of the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship to win, 1 up, Saturday at 7,742-yard, par-71 Chambers Bay.
Chung, who has won the Western Amateur and the Porter Cup already in 2010, will meet Peter Uihlein, 20, of Orlando, Fla., Sunday in the 36-hole final match.
Uihlein, who celebrates his 21st birthday Sunday, defeated Patrick Cantlay, 18, of Los Alamitos, Calif., 4 and 3, in the other semifinal.
An, who was the first defending champion to reach the semifinals since Tiger Woods in 1996, held a 3-up lead through six holes against Chung and was the equivalent of six under par with four birdies and an eagle with match-play concessions.
Like Tiger (Woods) says, I want to come out firing on all cylinders, Chung said. (An) did that. I don't think anybody could have beaten him in the first six holes today. But, I knew I would have my chances and I'd have to take advantage of them going into the back nine. Luckily, I was able to do that.
Chung, a college All-American at Stanford, slowly chipped away at An’s lead and won holes 10 and 12 with birdies to narrow the margin to just one hole. He squared the match with a par on the par-3 15th and took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 16th.
I'd have to say today was by far my toughest match of the tournament and the toughest match-play opponent I've played in a while, Chung said of An.
An, an 18-year-old Korean native who surpassed Woods as the youngest U.S. Amateur winner at 17 in 2009, was vying to become the first repeat winner since Woods, who won three consecutive U.S. Amateur championships from 1994-1996.
Uihlein, a member of the victorious 2009 USA Walker Cup Team, was 2 up through seven holes. He never trailed mostly because of an extremely accurate putter. He made tying putts on holes 2 through 5, which kept his lead at 1 up.
I think I did just make a few more putts, because starting off I pretty much stole a couple holes early, said Uihlein, who won the Sahalee Players Championship earlier this summer. I was filling up the cup early. I literally just made a couple more putts than him to start off and I think that was the difference.
Chung and Uihlein have known each other since the beginning of their competitive junior golf careers. They have met twice previously in match play with Chung winning both – in the round of 16 at the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur (21 holes) and in the first round of the match-play portion of the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship (1 up).
The 36-hole final is set for 7 a.m. PDT Sunday. The winner receives custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the ensuing year as well as an exemption into the 2011 U.S. Open and likely invitation to the 2011 British Open. Both finalists are likely to receive an invitation to the 2011 Masters Tournament.
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 Saturday’s semifinal 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. Byeong-Hun An, Korea (147), 1 up
Peter Uihlein, Orlando, Fla. (146) d. Patrick Cantlay, Los Alamitos, Calif. (137), 4 and 3
University Place, Wash. – Pairing for Sunday’s final round of match play at the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship, played at 7,742-yard, par-71 Chambers Bay (36 holes). Times PDT.
7 a.m. – David Chung, Fayetteville, N.C. (144) vs. Peter Uihlein, Orlando, Fla. (146)