UW All-American Duo In Quarters Of U.S. Amateur
Aug. 16, 2012
CHERRY HILLS, Colo. -- Husky All-American golfers Chris Williams and Cheng-Tsung Pan moved on to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Amateur Championship in Cherry Hills, Colo. after they each won twice in match play action on Thursday. So far through three matches at the par-71 Cherry Hills Country Club, neither Williams nor Pan have trailed at any point.
Williams, the current No. 1 amateur player in the world, handled France's Edouard Espana 3 and 2 in the afternoon after beating Adam Stephenson 5 and 3 in the morning. In a seesaw front nine, Williams won the first, third and fifth holes, while Espana won No.'s 2, 4 and 9 to make the turn all square. On the back nine, Williams started distancing himself from his French counterpart by winning the first three holes. He would never relinquish that three-hole advantage and would go on to put the match away on No. 16 when both golfers birdied the hole.
In the morning, Williams, entering his senior season at Washington this fall, only lost one hole during a dominating performance. He gained a two-hole advantage by the fifth hole and Stephenson never drew any closer than that margin.
Despite never trailing all day, Pan's path to the quarterfinals was much rockier than his teammate. In the afternoon, Pan was the recipient of his opponent Andrew Presley bogeying the first four holes. Pan only was able to get a 3 up advantage heading to No. 5.
Presley slowly chipped away at Pan's lead eventually knotting up the match after a double bogey by the Husky Freshman All-American on No. 15. At that point, Pan was 6-over par for his round. From there, Pan re-focused and took the match over.
Pan would birdie the par-4 16th hole to re-gain the 1 up advantage. After both golfers scored par on the 17th hole, Pan put his drive on the final hole into the rough, while Presley drilled his tee shot right down the middle of the fairway. Presley, who was away, would chunk his second shot into the rough short of the green while Pan cleanly picked his shot from the tall grass and put it to within six feet of the flag. Presley eventually conceded the hole after missing a par putt allowing Pan to claim the match 2 up.
Pan beat Gavin Green of the University of New Mexico, 3 and 1, in the round of 32 to advance in the morning. Pan never led by more than two holes until he took an insurmountable three-hole lead on No. 17.
Williams will play Steven Fox, a senior-to-be at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga 9:00 a.m. local time in the Round of Eight, while Pan faces California's Brandon Hagy at 9:15 a.m. The winners of the two matches will face each other, setting up a possible Huskiy semifinal showdown.
Washington and California each have two golfers remaining in the field, leaving half of the eight competitors from the Pac-12 Conference.
Williams is playing for more than the Havemeyer Trophy, awarded to the winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship. He is attempting to hold onto his No. 1 status in the Royal & Ancient's rankings. The top-ranked amateur after this week will earn the Mark H. McCormack Medal, which includes exemption into both the U.S. Open and Open Championships. Additionally, the winner and runner up each earn exemptions into both the Masters and U.S. Open.
The Golf Channel will carry tape-delayed coverage of the Friday's action starting at 5:30 p.m. PT and running until 7:30 p.m. PT.