Predictions: U.S. Amateur semifinals
Saturday, August 16, 2014
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – And then there were four. The semifinalists are set for the 114th U.S. Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Here are some things you need to know:
• The average age of the four semifinalists is 20.5.
• The average World Amateur Golf Ranking is 368.75. Denny McCarthy is ranked lowest at No. 36, while Gunn Yang is highest at No. 776.
• The USGA has set up the course each day at approximately 7,305 yards at Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands course.
And now for our predictions for Saturday at the U.S. Amateur:
• • •
Match #1: Frederick Wedel vs. Gunn Yang, 8:00 a.m.
HOW THEY GOT THERE:
Wedel def. Carson Jacobs (5 and 4); Derek Bard (2 and 1); Jimmy Mullen (2 and 1); Nathan Smith (4 and 3)
Yang def. Seth Reeves (1 up); Paul Howard (1 up); Ollie Schniederjans (1 up); Carson Young (2 up)
STEIN: Wedel. After not picking him to advance to the semis, I think I’ll go with him now. He has proven to this week that he can beat anyone on any given day. His one-track mind of “Whoever I play tomorrow, I just have to beat him once, and then it’s on to the next guy,” is working well for the teenager. Yang has taken his first four matches to the 18th hole every time, while Wedel likes to close things out early, so that could get interesting.
MASUDA: Yang. I think it's destiny for the San Diego State sophomore. He's grinded out all four of his matches, and I think that's going to be an advantage, as he has actually played the last few holes, which can be killer. When you get a lucky bounce off the stone wall protecting water on the 18th hole, holding a 1-up-lead, you know something is looking out for you.
• • •
Match #2: Corey Conners vs. Denny McCarthy, 8:20 a.m.
HOW THEY GOT THERE:
Conners def. Scottie Scheffler (1 up); Jesse Heinly (4 and 3); Jon Rahm (3 and 2); Zachary Olsen (2 and 1)
McCarthy def. Jonathan Woo (7 and 5); Jonathan Chang (5 and 3); Eli Cole (1 up); Roman Robledo (3 and 2)
STEIN: McCarthy. Both players have a knack for getting up early in their matches. I believe whoever does this will turn out the victor. Giving credit where credit is due, it seems that Conners is on a mission from last year after also bowing out in the semifinals. McCarthy said in his post-round press conference that he is hitting the ball well, but putts really haven’t fallen for him yet, and is looking for them to on Saturday. If they do? … Look out Conners.
MASUDA: Conners. I honestly think this one is a coin flip. They are both playing incredibly well this week and both have tons of experience in this event. Conners was in this spot last year before losing to Matthew Fitzpatrick. I think he is going to draw on that and make an early statement. He says he is familiar with McCarthy, which will give him some comfort as well. I believe it'll be an international final.