Four March On to Semifinals at Olympia Fields
August 21, 2015 | OLYMPIA FIELDS, ILL.
By Pete Kowalski, USGA
NCAA individual champion and United States Walker Cup Team member Bryson DeChambeau will face University of Southern California sophomore Sean Crocker, and Japanese national team member Kenta Konishi will meet University of Virginia junior Derek Bard in Saturday’s semifinal round of the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club.
DeChambeau, 21, of Clovis, Calif., never trailed in defeating Paul Dunne, of the Republic of Ireland, 3 and 2, in Friday’s quarterfinals.
“I didn't make very many mistakes out there today,” said DeChambeau, who plays in a Ben Hogan-style cap. “I think fortunately for me, it was his mistakes. We are both great players. He's a class act, great guy and I was fortunate enough to play a little bit better today than him.”
Top-ranked amateur Jon Rahm is headed home, while the steady Bryson DeChambeau and fiery Sean Crocker continue their #USAmateur journeys at Olympia Fields Country Club.Posted by United States Golf Association - USGA on Friday, August 21, 2015
In the other quarterfinal matches, Crocker, 18, a third-team All-American for USC’s NCAA runner-up squad, topped Austin James, of Canada, 2 up; Kinoshi, 21, who finished third in the 2013 Asia-Pacific Amateur, edged Baylor sophomore Matthew Perrine, 1 up; and Bard, the 2015 Sunnehanna Amateur winner, eliminated Jon Rahm, of Spain, who is No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, 1 up.
In Thursday’s Round of 16, DeChambeau defeated Maverick McNealy of Stanford University, the college player of the year who will be his Walker Cup teammate next month, and in Wednesday’s Round of 32, he beat University of South Carolina All-American Matt NeSmith.
“I know I can play with the best out there,” said DeChambeau of meeting and beating highly regarded opponents. “Seeing that Paul was able to be in the lead going into the final round at the British (Open) was pretty incredible, and beating him today only gives me more belief that I can play with the best out there.”
DeChambeau, the Southern Methodist University first-team All-American, broke open a deadlocked match with consecutive winning birdies on the sixth and seventh holes of the North Course, host of two U.S. Open Championships. Dunne, who was the first amateur to share or hold the 54-hole lead in The Open Championship since Bob Jones in 1927, won the ninth with par but DeChambeau won holes 11 and 13 with birdies to extend his lead to 3-up.
DeChambeau is vying to become the fifth player to win the NCAA title and U.S. Amateur championship in the same year and the first since Ryan Moore in 2004. The others are Jack Nicklaus (1961), Phil Mickelson (1990) and Tiger Woods (1996).
Konishi, a student at Tohoku Fukushi University who played for Japan in the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship, held off Perrine, who won holes 15 and 17 to square the match, with a winning par on 18.
“This is the biggest tournament in my life,” said Konishi, who once defeated Hideki Matsuyama in a Japanese amateur tournament. “And I think I'm playing really well this week.”
He is attempting to become the first Japanese winner of the U.S. Amateur and the second Japanese USGA champion, joining Michiko Hattori, who won the 1985 U.S. Women’s Amateur.