Jordan Spieth dominated Adam Ball in the semifinals, winning 7 and 5. Spieth fired seven birdies in the 13-hole match.
After saying he hadn’t pulled together a complete round after his quarterfinal victory earlier on Friday, Spieth characterized his semifinal win as a “career round.”
The other semifinal match — Chelso Barrett vs. Nicolas Echavarria — has gone into sudden death. Barrett evened the score on No. 17 and both birdied No. 18.
EARLIER ON FRIDAY…
The semifinal pairings of the 64th U.S. Junior Amateur Championship are complete. Earlier Friday on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Adam Ball, Jordan Spieth, Chelso Barrett and Nicolas Echavarria won their quarterfinal matches.
The semifinals will begin at 1 p.m. Friday. Ball will take on Spieth and Barrett faces Echavarria.
Spieth defeated the only local remaining in the field, Ephrata High School senior Andrew Whalen, 2 & 1. Spieth, who won the tournament in 2009, took the lead on No. 16. A swirling wind grabbed hold of Whalen’s shot off the tee of the par-3, 184-yard hole and the ball sailed over the green. Spieth took notice of Whalen’s club choice — a 6-iron — and made a quick decision.
“He pulled out a 6-iron, which is what I was going to hit if it were into the wind,” Spieth said. “He hit it and they thought it was good and all of a sudden it just flew the green. It’s completely dead back there. At that point I went down, took a 7-iron. I was just trying to stay short of the hole.”
Spieth landed short, hitting into a bunker that lied between a water hazard and the green. His ball stopped near a rake mark and left him with a difficult shot.
“With this sand you cant get any spin out of it anyway, let alone with sand behind the ball,” Spieth explained. “I took a huge swing for such a short shot, just to get it up. That was I nthe top-five best shots I’ve hit this week, just to get it our of the bunker and on to the green.”
Spieth bogeyed the hole, but it was good enough to put him 1-up, heading into the final two holes.
Whalen’s day came to an end when a 10-foot putt barely missed on No. 17, grazing the right side of the cup.
“I thought it had a chance,” Whalen said, “and about halfway through I knew it didn’t.”
In other quarterfinal matches, Adam Ball knocked out top-seeded Beau Hossler, 2 & 1. Seventh-seeded Chelso Barrett edged second-seeded William Starke, 1-up and Colombia’s Nicolas Echavarria beat Ryan Benton, 2 & 1.
Ball defeat Hossler, 2 & 1
Spieth defeat Whalen, 2 & 1
Barrett defeat Starke, 1 up
Echavarria defeat Benton, 2 & 1
Ball vs. Spieth, 1 p.m.
Barrett vs. Echavarria, 1:15 p.m.