Byeong-Hun An 17 advances to US Amateur semis

By Associated PressAugust 28, 2009, 4:00 pm
USGATULSA, Okla. ' Mention Y.E. Yang prevailing at the PGA Championship and Byeong-Hun Ans eyes light up.
 
After one historic win for a South Korean this summer, why not follow it up with one of his own at the U.S. Amateur?
 
After a 21-hole victory against Stanford junior Steve Ziegler in the quarterfinals on Friday, An stands two wins away from making history. The 17-year-old who goes by Ben can become both the youngest player to take the U.S. Amateur title and the first Asian-born player to do so.
 
I never thought about that, An said. I didnt know I could make it this far, because I was playing bad before. It would be great to win, but there are a lot of good players out there. It would be awesome if I win, but Im happy winning tomorrows match to get in the Masters.
 
Ans opponent on Saturday will be Fresno State sophomore Bhavik Patel, who defeated Clemson senior Phillip Mollica 1 up.
 
Texas senior Charlie Holland defeated Oklahoma State sophomore Peter Uihlein in 19 holes to reach the other semifinal against fourth-seeded Ben Martin, who finished his college career at Clemson last year. Martin beat Arkansas senior David Lingmerth 2 and 1.
 
An squandered a 3-up lead on the back nine, bogeying the 17th and 18th holes to let Ziegler force a playoff. It was the second straight day that Ziegler was 2 down as he arrived at the 17th hole, only to win the last two holes.
 
An prevailed when Ziegler missed the green with his second shot at No. 3 and An followed by leaving his right in the middle of the green. When Ziegler missed a long par putt, he flipped his putter into the air and swatted at it before removing his cap to shake Ans hand.
 
Im pretty happy obviously because its quite an accomplishment to get this far in the tournament, said Ziegler, who will be exempt at next years event by reaching the quarterfinals. There are a lot of guys who went home unhappy a lot earlier. But then again, its a lot of mixed emotions because I know I had a chance to do something pretty special.
 
An said he watched Yangs PGA Championship victory, going back and forth between being convinced Yang would win after he chipped in for eagle at No. 14 to feeling certain Woods would find some way to come back for the win. In the end, Yang became the first Asian-born player to win a major.
 
There have been only 10 foreign-born winners in the 108 U.S. Amateurs. Three have come from Scotland, two from Canada and Australia, and one apiece from England, Italy and New Zealand. Just last year, Danny Lee '18 years and one month old at the time ' broke Tiger Woods record to become the youngest champion.
 
An doesnt turn 18 until Sept. 17.
 
Im not really used to big tournaments and a lot of big names, but I dont think I feel intimidated before I go off, An said. I just play my best.
 
Sports success runs in his family. Ans father, his caddie this week, and mother both won Olympic medals in table tennis in the 1988 Seoul Games. Not quite a decade later, An was 6 and following his dad around at the driving range when he tried golf.
 
I guess I had nothing to do that day other than just hit some shots, An said. I think my dad liked it. He liked my swing.
 
He started playing tournaments at age 7' I wasnt that good, he admits ' and developed enough that 3 1/2 years ago, he and his father moved to Florida to take advantage of the top-notch golf facilities. He was the runner-up at this years American Junior Golf Association Rolex Tournament of Champions and a quarterfinalist at the Western Amateur before qualifying for the U.S. Amateur earlier this month.
 
If not for the tournament, hed be in school this week at Bradenton Preparatory Academy ' and hes got another tournament next week.
 
Im missing the first two weeks of school. Pretty bad, he said.
 
An conceded that he was impressed when he looked around at the range earlier this week and saw top-ranked amateurs like Rickie Fowler and Morgan Hoffman. Now, hes outlasted both ' and just about everyone else, too.
 
I dont have to feel different than them. Were the same golfers, An said. Theyre better players than me, but we all qualified for this tournament, so I think we all have the same golf ability.
 
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  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

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    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.