All Australian semi-final at US Amateur
BY Bruce Young | US Mens Amateur Tour | 2013 US Amateur Championship | Quarter-Finals | 17 Aug 2013
West Australians, Brady Watt and Oliver Goss, will face each other in one semi-final at the US Amateur Championship at The Country Club in Brookline Massachusetts after both survived their quarter final encounters today.
Either Goss or Watt, therefore, will get to play the 36 hole final on Sunday and, irrespective of the result there, earn the right to play at the Masters and the US Open in 2014 plus advance their cause in the pursuit of an eventual professional career. The winner of the US Amateur will also get to play the Open Championship.
Those significant exemptions, available to the winner and runner-up this week, apply only if the player was to remain amateur up to and including the US Open at Pinehurst.
22 year old Watt came from two down with six holes to play to defeat Texan Scottie Scheffler at the last 1 up, while for 19 year old Goss it was a less torrid affair, winning his match over Pennsylvania’s Brandon Matthews 5&3.
Neither match was a particularly low scoring affair although that is of little relevance in this format, the object of the exercise to make it to the next round.
“I was a little bit off both ways with my shots,” said Watt, who arrived in the United States for the first time seven weeks ago. “But I hung in there, kind of down the stretch, got it back to 1 down and then holed a good putt on 15, and then a really good up and down on the last to close it out.”
“I definitely didn’t expect to win 5 and 3 today,” said Goss, who said his 12-foot par putt to halve the par-4 13th was a key point in his quarterfinal match. “My first two matches were really tight. I think I played 53 out of 54 holes. But I’m glad I got the job done.”
There will now be at least one Australian in the final for the first time since Nick Flanagan’s historic victory in the event ten years ago.
Flanagan is essentially the only Australian to have won the US Amateur although Walter Travis, who was a three time winner back in 1900, 1901 and 1903, was actually born and raised in Australia before moving to the US in 1886 as a 23 year old and becoming an American citizen in 1890. Back then, however, the entries totalled 150 or so while in 2013 some 7000 players entered the event.
Goss and Watt have history of several titanic battles against each other. Goss, from the Royal Fremantle Golf Club outside of Perth, defeated Royal Perth’s Watt at the final hole of the West Australian Amateur in 2012 and a few months later defeated him again, this time in a playoff, for the West Australian Open in October where the pair accounted for a field of Australian professionals before advancing to the playoff.
For Goss, now studying and playing at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, he has already surpassed his impressive effort of 2012 when beaten in his quarter final match in this event.
The other semi final is between the leading amateur at the recent Open Championship at Muirfield and the 2012 British Boys Amateur Champion, Matthew Fitzpatrick of England and Canada’s leading ranked amateur, Corey Connors.