LOS ANGELES – Here is a look at the four quarterfinal matchups at the 117th U.S. Amateur at Riviera Country Club:
Connor Syme vs. Doug Ghim, 4:30 p.m. ET
This is a matchup of two players likely to represent their countries at the Walker Cup next month at Los Angeles Country Club – Syme for Scotland, and Ghim for the U.S. Syme dispatched Maverick McNealy in the Round of 64 before beating Ricky Castillo and Kristoffer Ventura. His victory against Ventura came after Syme holed a chip at the 18th hole to win 1 up. While Syme, who qualified for the British Open this year, is ranked 13th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Ghim is ranked seventh. Ghim is a past semifinalist at the U.S. Junior (2013) and U.S. Amateur Public Links (2014), and he has dad, Jeff, also his swing coach, on the bag this week. Ghim needed 19 holes to beat Sahith Theegala in the Round of 32, but his other two matches ended before the 17th hole. Ghim is the 2016-17 Big 12 Player of the Year and a rising senior at Texas.
Romine’s pick: Ghim
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Theo Humphrey vs. Chun An Yu, 4:45 p.m. ET
Humphrey continues what has been a nice summer for the rising Vanderbilt senior. He was T-13 at Sunnehanna, T-2 at Northeast, T-3 at Players Amateur, and now he is three wins away from a U.S. Amateur title. Humphrey has an outside shot at making the U.S. Walker Cup team. He is ranked 42nd in the WAGR, but is playing better than that at Riviera. He was the fourth seed for match play and his matches have yet to reach the 18th hole. Yu, ranked 23 in the WAGR, is a rising sophomore at Arizona State, though he didn’t join the Sun Devils until last spring. However, he won an event (NIT), finished second in ASU’s home tournament and tied for 19th at the NCAA Championship. His scalps in match play this week have gotten bigger with each round – Lee Hodges, Zach Bauchou, and then Collin Morikawa in the Round of 16.
Romine’s pick: Humphrey
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Dawson Armstrong vs. Mark Lawrence Jr., 5 p.m. ET
Armstrong, a rising senior at Lipscomb, is making a great case to be on the U.S. Walker Cup team. A Western Amateur winner three years ago, Armstrong has found himself 2 down or worse in his last two matches before rallying to beat Robert MacIntyre and Cheng Jin. His dad, Dale, is his caddie this week. Armstrong, ranked 32nd in the WAGR, also won an NCAA regional this year. Lawrence is a rising junior at Virginia Tech. He was a standout junior in the state of Virginia before signing with Auburn, where he played a season before transferring. He is ranked 386th in the WAGR, but has played better than that. His 1-up victory over Tyler Strafaci in the Rund of 32 came after Lawrence stuck his approach at No. 18 to 2 feet.
Romine’s pick: Armstrong
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Doc Redman vs. Travis Smyth, 5:15 p.m. ET
Redman, a rising sophomore at Clemson, is coming off a runner-up finish at the Western Amateur. He’s coming off a freshman season where he notched a school-freshman-record with eight top 10s. He also was top 10 at both the Northeast and Southerm amateurs this summer. He’s ranked 70th in the WAGR, but is arguably the hottest player in the field. Smyth is looking to make it back-to-back years that an Aussie has won this championship. Curtis Luck beat Brad Dalke last year and coincidentally Smyth also sports a man-bun like Luck did. Smyth, playing in his first USGA championship, is the oldest player in the field at 22 and is ranked 29th in the WAGR.
Romine’s pick: Smyth