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Two Upsets in Quarterfinals of U.S. Amateur
The Cinderella story continues for two players at the 112th U.S. Amateur. Michael Weaver of Fresno, Calif., beat Portugal's Ricardo Gouveia 4 and 3 and Steven Fox of Hendersonville, Tenn., vanquished Chris Williams, the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, 4 and 2, to advance to the semifinals Saturday at Cherry Hills Country Club south of Denver.
Weaver and Fox have each registered four match-play victories after surviving Tuesday's 17-for-14 playoff to make the 64-player bracket. The 21-year-old Weaver took a 1-up lead on the second hole with a par and never looked back. The University of California player recorded three birdies Friday, while Gouveia never got going, and Weaver closed out the match on the par-3 15th with a par.
"I knew it was going to be tough match," Weaver said later. "There was no doubt about that. But he kind of struggled a little bit today, and I was able to kind of take advantage of that on the front nine. I played really well tee to green and really felt like I didn't make many mistakes on the front, and that was key, because I kind of got a little shaky after the turn, but fortunately I had the nice 4-up lead to kind of give me a cushion."
Fox, also 21, went up on Williams, a native of Moscow, Idaho, who attends the University of Washington, with a birdie on the short par-4 third and never relinquished the lead. Williams was uncharacteristically erratic in the quarterfinal match and couldn't keep up with Fox, losing on the par-4 16th to Fox's fourth birdie of the day.
Another Washington player, 20-year-old Cheng-Tsung Pan, also lost. The native of Chinese Taipei fell to Brandon Hagy of Westlake Village, Calif., 4 and 3. Pan got off to a nice start, forging a 2-up lead through four. But Hagy, another Cal player, eagled the par-5 fifth to go 1-down and then won the par-3 sixth to go all-square.
From that point on, it was all Hagy, who eagled the par-5 11th and added another birdie as Pan couldn't keep pace. Hagy closed out the match with a birdie on the par-3 15th.
In the fourth match, Justin Thomas continued his fine play. The 19-year-old from Goshen, Ky., who beat University of Alabama teammate and medalist Bobby Wyatt Thursday afternoon, edged Oliver Goss of Australia 2-up to also advance to the semifinals. Goss, the youngest player left in the field at age 18, held the lead through seven holes but Thomas got the match to all-square at the 10th and then won the 11th with a birdie to go up for good. He won with a par-4 on the 18th.
Thomas will face Weaver, with their match starting at 8:00 a.m. (MDT), while Hagy and Fox will face off at 8:15 in Saturday's semifinals. The two survivors will play in the 36-hole championship match Sunday.
For complete scoring details, visit http://www.usga.org/ChampEventScore.aspx?id=17179869326&year=2012&type=match4.
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