Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Walker Cup men reach semi-finals of first 

USA amateur four-ball championship

SAN FRANCISO – Three pairs of mid-amateurs and a duo of highly-ranked teenagers all won two matches Tuesday to advance to the semi-finals of the inaugural U.S. amateur four-ball championship at the Olympic Club’s Lake Course, which has hosted five U.S. Opens.

The victorious veterans were led by 2013 USA Walker Cup team members Todd White, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Nathan Smith, of Pittsburgh, who did not make a bogey in their two victories.

“I know that Nathan's been through so much USGA-wise, so nothing's going to faze him,” said White, who won the 2015 Azalea Amateur against a field that included many collegiate players. 

White, with 16 past USGA championship appearances and Smith, with 33, defeated a side of brothers – Jason and Todd Higton, of Fresno, California, 3 and 2, in the quarter-finals after posting six birdies in a back-and-forth, 2 and 1 decision over Southern Methodist University team-mates Austin Smotherman and Bryson DeChambeau in the second round.

Smith, 36, an investment advisor and White, 47, a high school history teacher, will meet a pair of 18-year-olds – Sam Burns, of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Austin Connelly, of Irving, Texas, ranked 6th and 10th, respectively in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in one of Wednesday’s semi-final matches.

In the other semi-final pairing, Sherrill Britt, 49, of West End, North Carolina and Greg Earnhardt, 46, of Greensboro, North Carolina will meet Scott Harvey, 36, of Greensboro, North Carolina, and Todd Mitchell, 36, of Bloomington, Illinois

Burns, who is a three-time Louisiana high school champion and will attend LSU, and Connelly, who captured the Jones Cup in February and will attend Arkansas, defeated golf manufacturing engineers Matthew Simone, of Pittsburgh, and Cory Bacon, of Cave Creek, Arizona 2 and 1, in the quarter-finals. Their second-round victory came over Don Walsworth, of Leawood, Kansas., and Jon Troutman, of Spring Hill, Kansas, 3 and 1.




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