A closer look: U.S. Junior, quarterfinals
THE WOODLANDS, Texas –– The final eight are set at the U.S. Junior Amateur.
Who will play who? How do they stack up? Who do we think will win?
Here's a closer look at Friday's quarterfinals at The Club at Carlton Woods (all times are local:
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Sean Crocker vs. Will Zalatoris, 7:30 a.m.
Crocker, one of two stroke-play medalists, has had some close calls already. He needed 18 holes to advance out of the Round of 64 and went to 20th hole before defeating Sahith Theegala in the Round of 16. Still, Crocker can make birdies and in match play, that helps a lot. Zalatoris is the only golfer left in the field from Texas, so he'll be a local favorite from here on out. Zalatoris has stressed staying patient this week, and that helped him rally against Will Dickson in the Round of 16.
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Will Grimmer vs. Curtis Luck, 7:40 a.m.
Luck is the lone Australian left in the field after the week started with four Aussies. He is a very aggressive player, joking Thursday that he doesn't know what the middle of the green is. That's the complete opposite of Grimmer, who at 125 pounds is the smallest player left in the field and is more methodical in the way he approaches golf courses. He has U.S. Open experience, though, so don't expect him to crack under the pressure. And he won without his best stuff Thursday afternoon, defeating Anton Serafini, 2 up, in the Round of 16.
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Sam Horsfield vs. Andreas Halvorsen, 7:50 a.m.
Horsfield is making his second consecutive quarterfinals appearance at the U.S. Junior. He's never made it to the semifinals, though, something Horsfield is determined to change. He's an aggressive player who makes a lot of birdies, but his driver gave him trouble late Thursday. Halvorsen is from Norway and never trailed in his Round of 16 victory over Davis Shore. Confidence should be running high with both players, though.
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Davis Riley vs. Andy Zhang, 8 a.m.
Riley and Zhang played on the same team earlier this month at the Wyndham Cup, a match-play event put on by the AJGA. They are good friends, too. But this is the quarterfinals, so don't think either player will be taking it easy. Riley has experience on his side having made the final last year and is wanting revenge. Zhang had never made it past the first round of match play in two previous U.S. Juniors, but he's playing awfully well right now.
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Brentley Romine predicts the quarterfinal winners (32-24 record through three rounds): Zalatoris, Luck, Horsfield, Zhang