The Semifinals: What You Need to Know
August 19, 2017 | PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif.
By Michael Trostel, USGA
For the first time since 2012, all four semifinalists in the U.S. Amateur are American college players. On Saturday, the final four will be pared to two, as Doug Ghim squares off against Theo Humphrey at 8 a.m. PDT and Mark Lawrence Jr. faces Doc Redman at 8:20 a.m. PDT.
While all semifinalists are exempt from qualifying for the 2018 and 2019 U.S. Amateurs, Saturday’s winners will also be exempt into the 2018 U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club and the 2018 Open Championship, conducted by The R&A, and will likely receive an invitation to the next Masters Tournament.
With so much on the line at The Riviera Country Club, let’s get to know the semifinalists a little better before they step onto golf’s grandest stage on Saturday morning.
Get to Know … Doug Ghim
Where He’s From: Arlington Heights, Ill.
Where He Goes to School: University of Texas
Best Finish in a USGA Championship: Runner-up, 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links
Quarterfinal Path: Defeated Connor Syme, 2 and 1
Fun Fact: If Ghim wins this week, it will be the first time that the reigning men’s and women’s U.S. Amateur champions will have attended the same college. Fellow Longhorn Sophia Schubert won the U.S. Women’s Amateur on Aug. 13.
Fun Fact II: Having grown up just outside Chicago, Ghim is a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. He wore a Cubs hat during the first three rounds of match play.
Notable Quote: “The U.S. Am is as big as it gets. There are nerves for sure, but everyone is feeling them. I'm more than happy to feel those nerves, because that means I'm doing something right.”
Get to Know … Theo Humphrey
Where He’s From: Greenwich, Conn.
Where He Goes to School: Vanderbilt University
USGA History: Playing in his fifth USGA championship
Quarterfinal Path: Defeated Chun An Yu, 1 up
Fun Fact: Has won 28 of the 66 holes he has played in the 2017 U.S. Amateur, the most of any player in the field.
Notable Quote: “[The 310-yard 10th hole] is an automatic layup for me. I try to hit it as far left as I can close to that bunker and have between 60 and 80 yards depending on the pin. Everyone I have played against has gone for that green. I've seen [what appeared to be] perfect tee shots and guys are struggling to make bogey. I just don't think it's a very intelligent shot.”
Get to Know … Mark Lawrence Jr.
Where He’s From: Richmond, Va.
Where He Goes to School: Virginia Tech University
USGA History: Playing in his first USGA championship
Quarterfinal Path: Defeated Dawson Armstrong, 3 and 2
Fun Fact: Lawrence has won the par-4 second hole in all four of his matches.
Fun Fact II: In July, Lawrence joined his father, Mark (1980), as a Virginia State Amateur champion. They are the only father-son duo to win the title.
Notable Quote: “I told all my best friends back home that I would be pretty pumped if I made it to match play. Once I got into match play, I started thinking, ‘One match at a time, be confident, and just see what happens.’ And I’m still here.”
Get to Know … Doc Redman
Where He’s From: Raleigh, N.C.
Where He Goes to School: Clemson University
USGA History: Advanced to Round of 32 in the 2016 U.S. Amateur
Quarterfinal Path: Defeated Travis Smyth, 1 up
Fun Fact: Doc is not a nickname. He was born Doc Hudspeth Redman.
Fun Fact II: If Redman wins, he would join Edoardo Molinari (2005) and Steven Fox (2012) as the only champions to survive a playoff to advance to match play.
Notable Quote: “[Finishing runner-up in the Western Amateur] gave me a lot of confidence this week. So going into that playoff [to get into match play], I knew all I needed to was get through and I would be fine no matter what seed I was, no matter who I was playing.”
Michael Trostel is the senior content producer for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.