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Summerhays, Jin to meet in U.S. Junior final at Inverness
Bo Jin (USGA/Darren Carroll)
Bo Jin (USGA/Darren Carroll)

Bo Jin, 17, of the People’s Republic of China, and Preston Summerhays, 16, of Scottsdale, Ariz., won a pair of matches on Friday to advance to the 36-hole final match of the 72nd U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Inverness Club.

Jin, the No. 8 seed, rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to edge No. 21 Kelly Chinn, of Great Falls, Va., 1 up, after Chinn had rallied to tie their semifinal match with wins on the 16th and 17th holes. Jin never trailed in the match and responded both times that Chinn tied him, with an eagle on the par-5 13th hole and the birdie on No. 18.

“Before the putt I was thinking I had exactly the same putt in the morning,” said Jin of the winning putt on the final green. “I left it a little bit short then, so I just gave it a little bit more speed. Yeah, definitely excited to see it go in.”

Summerhays, the No. 11 seed, wore down Thomas Pagdin, of England, 17, the highest remaining player in the quarterfinals at No. 41 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), in the other semifinal match. Summerhays overcame a 2-hole deficit by winning six of the last seven holes to advance, 4 and 3.

“My mindset was just to keep on playing,” said Summerhays, who won his second consecutive Utah Amateur title last week. “He had a good first seven holes, and I knew that he’s human. He was going to make some mistakes. I just tried to stay patient.”

Jin (No. 777 in the WAGR) and Summerhays (No. 208 in the WAGR) both rallied in their earlier quarterfinal victories on a very hot day at Inverness, with the heat index climbing above 100. In fact, three of the four semifinalists were forced to rally from back-nine deficits in their morning matches.

Summerhays faced the largest deficit, 3 down to No. 19 seed Austin Greaser, of Vandalia, Ohio, through 11 holes before winning four of the next five holes. A par on the closing hole to Greaser’s bogey completed a 2-up win.

Pagdin was 1 down to No. 15 George Duangmanee, of Fairfax, Va., after 10 holes, but made three birdies, including a 20-footer on No. 17, to earn a 2-and-1 victory. Jin was 2 down to Deven Ramachandran, of San Rafael, Calif., but rallied to win holes 14, 16 and 17 for a 1-up win. Chinn squandered a 2-up lead against Garrett Martin of San Antonio, Texas, but won four out of five holes to earn a 4-and-2 victory.

The winner of the 72nd U.S. Junior Amateur will earn a berth in the 2020 U.S. Open Championship next June at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. The winner and runner-up both earn spots in next month’s 119th U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club.

ABOUT THE U.S. Junior Amateur

While it is not the oldest competition, the U.S. Junior Amateur is considered the premier junior competition, having been around since 1948. The event is open to male golfers who have not reached their 19th birthday prior to the close of competition and whose USGA Handicap Index does not exceed 6.4. The U.S. Junior is one of 14 national championship conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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