CHICAGO, IL (Aug. 1, 2014) -- Nick Hardy caught fire Friday, winning two matches in 14 holes each at the Western Amateur.
After going the equivalent of 4-under par in defeating recent Porter Cup winner Geoff Drakeford of Australia in the first match of the "Sweet Sixteen" this morning, proceeded to do it again in the afternoon, sending one of the top amateurs in the country, Scottie Scheffler, home, 5 and 4.
Hardy, an incoming freshman at the University of Illinois from Northbrook has the gallery's approval. He was 4-up with 5 to play after Scheffler won the 12th, but rather than show any weakness he came right back with a birdie to close it out.
“It sure feels like Illinois versus Texas – other than Australia – so I’m taking on the Texas bracket,” Hardy said. “It’s pretty fun.”
In other action today, Beau Hossler pulled out a victory against Doug Ghim, finishing off the U.S. Amateur Public Links runner-up in a 19 hole thriller. No player took more than a one-up lead in the match, as they spent the majority of the day all square. The defining moment of the day took place towards the end of the match, as Hossler birdied three straight holes from 13 to 15 to go from one-down to one-up. Hossler, who played to the stroke play equivalent of six-under par in his match against Ghim, finally closed out the incoming college freshman with a birdie on the first playoff hole.
2014 U.S. Open qualifier Brian Campbell had an even tougher route to the semifinals, as he went 23 holes with Australian Cory Crawford before winning the match. Campbell had a two-up lead headed into the 17th hole after a birdie on 16, but lost both 17 and 18 to send the quarterfinals match to extra holes. Both players made birdie on the first extra hole, then tied the next three with pars. Campbell finally separated himself on the fifth extra hole with a birdie, ending Crawford’s title hopes and securing a spot for himself in the semifinals.
California Amateur champion Xander Schauffele had an easier time on Friday afternoon than Hossler and Campbell, as he defeated Hunter Stewart 3 and 2. The players were all square through 12 holes before Schauffele won three of four holes to close out Stewart on the 16th hole.
Hardy will face Hossler on Saturday morning, as will Campbell and Schauffele. A potential California Amateur final rematch is in the works, as Schauffele defeated Hossler 2-up at La Costa Resort earlier this summer for the title. (Three of the four semi-finalists are from the Golden State.)
Visit AmateurGolf.com for live updates on Saturday on the semifinal and final matches.