The semi-finals are set for the Western Amateur, which is back at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois, for the first time in a decade.
Half playing part of 120The tenth Western Am started on Tuesday and continued through Thursday’s 36-hole stroke marathon, leaving us with 16 players in it on Friday morning to play the game.
The Round of 16 saw the upset of defending champion Michael Thorbjornsen, who made headlines earlier this summer when he finished fourth on the PGA Tour Travellers Championship. Cole Sherwood of Vanderbilt defeated Thorbjornsen, 4th and 3rd, to advance to the quarterfinals.
Joining Sherwood in the neighborhoods are Ross Stillman, Travis Vick, Matthew Fernandez de Oliveira, Austin Greiser, Kelly Chen, William Moe and Derek Hitchner.
The Vick and Stillman match was the first match of the afternoon, and Stillman got off to a hot start. The Georgia Tech yellow jacket was a 4 through eight holes and Vick was on the wrong side of the Exmoor Tennis Court after a foul in ninth.
After finding his way back to the fairway and saving a tie to close in on the front nine, Vic set out on a five-bird run on eight holes, eventually climbing off the hole he found himself in on the turn to defeat Stillman, 2 and 1, and advance to tomorrow’s semifinals .
The same side of the arc found Fernandez de Oliveira facing Sherwood, and Sherwood couldn’t keep up with the hot streak he showed in Thorbjornsen’s upset. Fernandez de Oliveira built a comfortable lead and appeared, 3 and 1, over Sherwood.
The other side of the arc saw Greaser facing Chinn, and made a match between his teammates, Mouw and Hitchner.
Greaser was in first place as both players played from the fairway at 18The tenth. Grease, the first hit, played conservatively in the middle of the green. Shane, knowing he likely needed a birdie to extend the match, hit a dead target at a forward pin tucked over a vault and fired the hard shot, leaving himself within 10 feet of Birdie.
After Greaser delayed his birdie attempt to 3 feet, Chinn couldn’t get his shot. Clean grease equally and advanced, 1 up to semi-final.
Mouw and Hitchner, co-stars of Pepperdine, played a tight match from start to finish. Neither player advanced by more than 1 during the lead nine, and when it emerged that Mouw might rise 2 in the 10th inning, Hitchner pressed Eagle to bring the match back to full square.
Mouw went 1-up on the 15th and closed his teammate, 1, to advance.
The semi-finals will see Vic face Fernandez de Oliveira, and Gresser facing Mo.
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The semi-final broadcast will begin tomorrow on GolfChannel.com at 10AM ET.