Knost Advances at US Amateur

By Associated PressAugust 23, 2007, 4:00 pm
US Amateur 2007 ERMA, N.J. -- Derek Fathauer made quick work of both of his opponents in match play on Thursday and is two wins from a berth in the finals of the U.S. Amateur Championship at the Olympic Club.
 
The Louisville senior defeated USA Walker Cup team member Chris Kirk 7 and 6 in the second round, then dominated stroke medalist Jason Kokrak 6 and 4 in the afternoon to advance to Friday's quarterfinals.
 
'I'm playing pretty solid,' Fathauer said. 'This morning I was pretty much given a lot of holes ... and this afternoon (it was) just about the same thing. I made a few putts and just played solid.'
 
Also advancing were Michael Thompson, Cheng Tsung Pan, Jhonattan Vegas, Casey Clendenon, Eddie Olson, Nick Taylor and Colt Knost.
 
Thursday's eight winners will play in the quarterfinals, with the semifinals slated for Saturday. Two golfers will then square off in Sunday's 36-hole final, with the winner receiving an automatic berth in the 2008 U.S. Open and British Open.
 
Fathauer never trailed Thursday, making birdie on the first hole in each match. Against Kirk, the Ben Hogan award winner as the top college golfer in the country, he had three birdies and one bogey and took advantage of a tough round by Kirk, who bogeyed five of the first seven holes and finished with eight bogeys overall.
 
It was much of the same against Kokrak. Fathauer had four birdies and one bogey, while Kokrak struggled with three bogeys and one double-bogey.
 
'I just didn't feel the same way as I did this morning,' said Kokrak, who beat Mark Harrell 2 and 1 in the second round. 'Today I just didn't have my 'A' game.'
 
Fathauer will play Thompson in Friday's quarterfinals. Thompson defeated Bryce Ledford 3 and 2 in the second round then came back to beat David McDaniel 2 and 1 in the afternoon.
 
'We know each other pretty well,' Thompson said of Fathauer. 'I know he's been playing excellent here. It's going to be a really hard match, but I'm playing well and I'm looking forward to it.'
 
Fathauer likes his chances but isn't looking ahead. He did that at the Amateur Public Links championship in July when he was 2-up with five holes to go in the semifinals and wound up losing 1-up to Cody Paladino.
 
'I learned the hard way,' Fathauer said. 'I blew it. I just can't think about that this week.'
 
This is Fathauer's fourth appearance in the U.S. Amateur and the first time he's advanced past the first round of match play.
 
Pan, a teen from Taiwan, beat Ji Moon 1-up in the morning, then came back to defeat Derek Ernst 5 and 4 in the third round.
 
Pan will meet Venezuela's Vegas, who advanced with a 6-and-4 win over Kyle Dickey in the third round. Vegas defeated Jon Curran 7 and 5 in the second round.
 
Knost, the 2007 Amateur Public Links champion, is trying to become just the sixth golfer in history to win two USGA championships in the same year. He had to hold on to beat 54-year-old George Zahringer. Knost was leading 3-up with four holes to go after both golfers eagled the 417-yard, par 4 14th, but Zahringer birdied No. 15 and Knost bogeyed No. 16 to see his lead drop to 1-up heading to No. 17 before holding on for a 2-and-1 win.
 
'I was leading the whole way and then he made a few birdies,' Knost said. 'Kinda scared me a little bit.'
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.