TULSA, Okla. – Byeong-Hun An has had a relatively easy path to the final of the U.S. Amateur, never trailing for the first 83 holes of match play. The first time he trailed was when Bhavik Patel made a par 3 on the 11th hole of their semifinal match. An lost that hole because of a simple mistake, but couldn’t have responded much better.
“All I have to do is just get a towel and scrub my hands to take the sweat out,” An said. “I forgot to do it. That’s why I shanked it. … It was dumb and I shanked it. … People were making me like really nervous.”
After An and Patel halved No. 12 with pars, An won four consecutive holes to win, 3 and 2. An started his charge by hitting a lob wedge from 96 yards to within inches of the hole for a birdie 4 on No. 12.
Both An and Ben Martin had to survive some close calls to get to the final, including two extra-hole matches apiece.
Mike Van Sickle could’ve eliminated An in their third-round match, but pushed a 6-foot par putt on No. 18. An beat Van Sickle in 20 holes, then beat Stanford’s Steve Ziegler in 21 holes in the next round.
Ben Martin won his first two matches in extra holes, beating Tyson Alexander in 21 holes and Chris Ward in 19 holes. Martin trailed in his next two matches, but beat both Nico Geyger and David Lingmerth, 2 and 1, in the next two rounds.