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US Amateur: Semifinals have Foreign Flavor
25 Aug 2006
see also: U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, Riviera Country Club

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Story Courtesy USGA

Chaska, Minn. (August 25, 2006) – Canadian Ryan Yip and Scotsman Richie Ramsay each won two matches Friday to advance to the semifinal round of the U.S. Amateur Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

Yip will face John Kelly, 21, of St. Louis, Mo., the 2006 Missouri Stroke Play champion, in one semifinal. Ramsay will face Webb Simpson, 21, of Raleigh, N.C., winner of the 2006 Sunnehanna Amateur, in the other semifinal.

The semifinal round is set for Saturday morning. The 36-hole final will be played on Sunday.

Yip, 21, from Calgary, Alberta, reached the quarterfinals a year ago. This time, he has already moved a step closer to the title.

"Like last year, I probably was a surprise to most people, but I knew I was a world-class player back then, and this year just kind of proves what level my game is at," said Yip.

He won the first four holes against Oliver Fisher, 17, of England and posted a 4-and-3 win in his quarterfinal match. He was the equivalent of 4-under-par for his 15 holes, with the normal concessions of match play, over the tough 7,473-yard Hazeltine layout that has hosted the 1991 U.S. Open and the 2002 PGA Championship.

Earlier in the morning, Yip sank a 40-foot birdie putt on the last hole to beat medalist Billy Horschel, 19, of Grant, Fla., in his third match, 1 up.

Ramsay, the 2005 Irish Amateur Stroke Play champion, ousted Ricky Fowler, a 17-year-old high school senior from Murrieta, Calif., with a birdie from 15 feet on the third extra hole. He had been 3 up after seven holes before letting his lead slip away. He lost the 17th hole and his lead completely because of a penalty infraction by his caddie, and then needed to make a 12-foot putt for par to send the match to extra holes.

He won his morning match against Kyle Davis, 20, of Kennett Square, Pa., 3 and 2. Two more matches remain, from Ramsay’s point of view.

"Without being big-headed, if you’re in the last four, you’ve got to think you can win," said Ramsay. "If I play my game and play the shots that are in my bag, there’s no reason why I can’t win."

Kelly pulled away from Trip Kuehne, 34, of Dallas, Texas, to win his quarterfinal match, 4 and 3. He won his third-round match against Jon McLean, 20, of Weston, Fla., 2 and 1.

"I believe in my game and I believe I’m a good player and that counts," said Kelly, the least well known of the four remaining golfers.

Simpson defeated Alex Prugh, 21, of Spokane, Wash., in his quarterfinal, 2 and 1. He easily beat Mark Strickland, 37, of Woodstock, Ga., in the morning, 7 and 5.

"With the smaller field now, everyone gets better and better," said Simpson. "But I think I can win this with a little luck and if I keep playing well."

Each of the quarterfinalists earned an exemption to the 2007 Amateur. But, the last four are playing for higher stakes. The winner earns a spot in the next U.S. Open, British Open, and a likely invitation to the 2007 Masters Tournament.

The Amateur is the oldest of the 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association, and notable Amateur winners include Bob Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Woods.

Story written by Craig Smith, director of media relations. E-mail him with questions or comments at csmith@usga.org.

Chaska, Minn. – Results of Friday’s third round of match play at the 2006 U.S. Amateur, conducted by the United States Golf Association, played at Hazeltine National Golf Club (7,473 yards, par 72)

Third Round

Upper Bracket
Ryan Yip (143), Canada, def. Billy Horschel (138), Grant, Fla., 1 up.
Oliver Fisher (142), England, def. Jonathan Hodge (147), Jefferson City, Tenn., 5 and 4.
Trip Kuehne (144), Dallas, Texas, def. Matthew Swan (147), Montgomery, Ala., 4 and 3.
John Kelly (145), Saint Louis, Mo., def. Jon McLean (144), Weston, Fla., 2 and 1.

Lower Bracket
Webb Simpson (143), Raleigh, N.C., def. Roberto Castro (147), Alpharetta, Ga., 2 and 1.
Alex Prugh (142), Spokane, Wash. def. Mark Strickland (144), Woodstock, Ga., 7 and 5.
Richie Ramsay (144), Scotland, def. Kyle Davis (141), Kennett Square, Pa., 3 and 2.
Rickie Fowler (147), Murrieta, Calif. def. Pablo Martin (142), Spain, 1 up.

Quarterfinal Results:
Yip def. Fisher, 4 and 3.
Kelly def. Kuehne, 3 and 2.
Simpson def. Prugh, 2 and 1.
Ramsay def. Fowler, 21 holes.

Pairings for Saturday’s semifinal round of match play (Times CDT):
9:00 a.m. – Yip vs. Kelly
9:15 a.m. – Simpson vs. Ramsay

ABOUT THE U.S. Amateur

The U.S. Amateur, the oldest USGA championship, was first played in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. The event, which has no age restriction, is open to those with a Handicap Index of 2.4 or lower. It is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. It is the pre-eminent amateur competition in the world. Applications are typically placed online, starting the third week in April at www.usga.org.

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