Western Amateur semifinals set for Saturday

Xander Schauffele will face off against Brian Campbell in one of two semifinal matches at the Western Am Saturday.

CHICAGO – And then there were four.

After a rain-delayed Friday at the Western Amateur, the semifinals are set at The Beverly Country Club. The final will follow on Saturday afternoon.

Illinois is represented by two players (Brian Campbell and Nick Hardy), while Texas has one (Beau Hossler) and San Diego State the final semifinalist (Xander Schauffele).

Here is a breakdown of the morning matches at the 112th Championship:

• • •

7:30 a.m.: Beau Hossler vs. Nick Hardy

Hossler: Mission Viejo, Calif.; No. 44 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR); T-2, Porter Cup; T-4, Southern Amateur; runner-up at the California Match Play Amateur

Hardy: Northbrook, Ill.; No. 81 in the WAGR; T-2, Western Junior Championship; second, Illinois State Amateur; T-3, FJ Invitational

Prediction: Hossler. Does anyone think I’m crazy for picking the Longhorn over the local kid? Probably, but Hossler showed his toughness throughout the day on Friday. He defeated No. 52 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Cheng-Tsung Pan, in the morning matches, and took down future teammate Doug Ghim by unofficially going 5 under on the back nine in the quarters. Don’t get me wrong, Hardy has shown he has the game to compete with anyone, but I have to go with the more experienced player.

• • •

7:45 a.m.: Brian Campbell vs. Xander Schauffele

Campbell:Irvine, Calif.; No. 16 in the WAGR; won, NCAA Sugar Grove regional; Qualified for the 2014 U.S. Open; 2014 Big Ten player of the Year.

Schauffele: San Diego; No. 21 in the WAGR; won the California Match Play Amateur; won, Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic; T-3, Sunnehanna Amateur

Prediction: Schauffele. The 20-year-old knows how to battle and has shown that in the stroke-play portion of this tournament (birdies on two of his final three holes to solidify a spot in match play) and on Friday with two victories. Campbell showed signs of slowing down after being 2 up with two holes to play in his quarterfinal match against Cory Crawford. Schauffele, who recently won a match-play title against Hossler at the California Match Play Amateur, knows the metal toughness that it takes to win a big-time tournament. And I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch, would you?

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