-Story by Pete Kowalski
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (August 15 ,2014) – Pepperdine University junior Frederick Wedel, 19, of The Woodlands, Texas, defeated four-time USGA champion Nathan Smith, of Pittsburgh, 4 and 3, on Friday to advance to the semifinal round of match play in the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club’s 7,360-yard, par-71 Highlands Course.
Wedel’s opponent on Saturday morning will be San Diego State sophomore Gunn Yang, 20, of Korea, who beat high school senior Cameron Young, of Scarborough, N.Y., 2 up.
Corey Conners, 22, of Canada, a recent graduate of Kent State University, advanced to the semifinals for the second consecutive year with a 2-and-1 win over Oklahoma State sophomore Zachary Olsen and will face University of Virginia All-American Denny McCarthy, 21, of Rockville, Md., who eliminated University of Houston All-American Roman Robledo, 3 and 2.
The lanky Wedel, an all-West Coast Conference choice, won two of the first three holes against Smith and never trailed. His birdies on the 12th and 13th holes all but sealed the victory.
“I just wanted to shut the door immediately,” said Wedel, who advanced to an NCAA Regional in 2014. “Fortunately, I stuffed it to about 6 inches on the (13th). And after that, the match was mine.”
Playing in his 14th U.S. Amateur, Smith, 36, the four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and three-time USA Walker Cup Team member, advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time.
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