David Chung versus Peter Uihlein.
Some of you could – and should – have won your 110th U.S. Amateur bracket with these two picks.
Chung took down reigning U.S. Am champion Byeong-Hun An, 1-up, while Uihlein upended teenager Patrick Cantlay, 4 and 3, in semifinal matches Saturday morning at Chambers Bay Golf Links.
The 36-hole championship match will start at 7 a.m. Sunday.
“Peter and I have played since we were 10 years old,” Chung said. “The first time I saw him was at Mid Pines and Pinehurst (in North Carolina). We were playing some junior tournament. … I’ve known him for a long time, and we’re really good friends.”
• MATCH 1 – David Chung defeated Byeong-Hun An, 1-up: What a match, really – the best of the whole tournament. And the outcome came down to one loose swing by An – his approach shot to the 485-yard, par-4 18th.
From a slightly downhill lie from the fairway, An came out of his 5-iron shot. The ball drifted right, and into one of the worst lies in the massive bunker just short of the green – behind a gnarly, grassy knoll.
An lofted his third shot high up in the air, and to the back of the green. His 50-foot downhill putt for par went off the green, and he was doomed by double bogey.
The soon-to-be California golfer took a 3-up lead to the back nine. He was 6-under through six holes, including an eagle at the fifth hole after he drove the green and sank a 25-foot putt.
Chung was sparked by superb up-and-downs on the 13th (15-footer for par) and 14th holes (almost holed out a flop shot from 40 yards) before squaring the match with a par at No. 15.
Chung quotable: “I don’t think anybody could have beaten him on the first six holes. But I knew I would have my chances, and I’d have to take advantage of them going into the back nine. Luckily, I was able to do that.”
An quotable: “Yeah, I felt not that bad right now. But that’s why maybe I’m more disappointed because I was playing well, but, you know, (I) just couldn’t get it done in the last few holes.”
• MATCH 2 – Peter Uihlein defeated Patrick Cantlay, 4 and 3: What the Oklahoma State junior isn’t getting done with birdies, he’s certainly making timely pars to advance on.
Uihlein took the lead, and never relinquished it after an opening par. Then he did a few more par-saving dances.
No. 2? 12-footer to tie Cantlay.
No. 3? 20-footer.
No. 4? 6-footer
No. 5? 15-footer
After Cantlay trimmed the deficit to 1-down with a birdie on the 10th, Uihlein grabbed it right back with a par at the 11th – and closed out the match four holes later.
Uihlein quotable: “I was filling up the cup early. I literally just made a couple more putts than him to start off, and I think that was the difference.”
Cantlay quotable: “It’s definitely a positive experience. (I’ll have) a lot of confidence going into college.