Americans out, foreign players take all four spots in US Amateur semis

Oliver Goss
Getty Images
Oliver Goss is in the U.S. Amateur semifinals a year after making it all the way to the quarterfinal round.
By
Jimmy Golen
Associated Press

Series: Other Tour

BROOKLINE, Mass. – Australians Brady Watt and Oliver Goss advanced to the U.S. Amateur semifinals Friday along with Canada's Corey Conners and England's Matt Fitzpatrick, marking the first time that an American has failed to reach the final four. 

Watt, a co-medalist in stroke-play qualifying, had a dramatic 1-up victory over 17-year-old Scottie Scheffler of Dallas. Scheffler, the U.S. Junior Amateur champion, had a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh and trailed only once – when Watt made a 5-foot par putt to win the match on the 18th hole. 

On Saturday at The Country Club, Watt will face Goss – a 5-and-3 winner over Brandon Matthews of Dupont, Pa. 

Watt and Goss, close friends who are staying at the same house nearby, planned to attend the Boston Red Sox's game Friday night at Fenway Park against the New York Yankees – in seats down near the field. 

"We're great mates and we've had a lot of close tournaments together, and we really enjoy playing together," Watt said. "I think we get the best out of ourselves and with the amount of people out there today, we're going to look forward to tomorrow to show everyone good shots. 

Goss, an Amateur quarterfinalist last year, has a winning streak going over his pal. 

"He beat me in the state amateur stroke play, and then he beat me in the match play, and then he beat me in a five-hole playoff in the W Open," Goss said. 

"I guess he owes me a couple," said Watt, who attends the University of Tennessee. 

Goss, who said he was "about 5-9 and 9 stones (133 pounds), had a tough road to the quarters and was relieved to win easily Friday. 

"My first three matches were really tight. I think I played 53 of 54 holes," he said. "So to win 5 and 3 was pretty unexpected. But I'm glad I got the job done." 

Fitzpatrick, trying to become the first English winner since 1911, beat Adam Ball of Richmond, Va., 4 and 3; and Conners topped co-medalist Neil Raymond of England 5 and 3. 

Fitzpatrick breezed through the four match-play rounds without having to play past the 15th hole. 

"I don't want to get too over-confident and think I'm the next best thing because I'm definitely not," said Fitzpatrick, who plays at Northwestern. 

Said Connors: "I definitely had really high expectations coming into the tournament. My game has been really solid all summer." 

Scheffler, who still has a year of high school left but has committed to the University of Texas, had been the come-from-behind king in earlier rounds but said, "I didn't finish as well as I've been this week – I guess that's why I lost." 

Friday quarterfinals:
Corey Conners, Canada, def. Neil Raymond, England, 5&3 
Matt Fitzpatrick, England, def. 2 Adam Ball, Richmond, Va., 4&3 
Brady Watt, Australia, def. Scottie Scheffler, Dallas, Texas, 1 up 
Oliver Goss, Australia, def. Brandon Matthews, Dupont, Pa., 5&3