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Conners earns another spot in U.S. Am semis

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – A year ago, Corey Conners was just a temporary roadblock during Matt Fitzpatrick’s march to the U.S. Amateur title.

The 22-year-old is back in position to hoist the Havemeyer Trophy, and he’s hoping for a different outcome this weekend at Atlanta Athletic Club.

On Friday, Conners became the first player since Patrick Cantlay (2010-11) to reach the U.S. Am semis in consecutive years after dispatching Oklahoma State sophomore Zachary Olsen, 2 and 1.

“My game has been clicking at the right time,” said Conners, a recent Kent State graduate. “All summer, you have this on the calendar and you are looking forward to it and trying to get your game in top shape.”

A year ago at The Country Club, Conners dropped a 2-and-1 decision to Fitzpatrick, who became the first Englishman to win the U.S. Amateur since 1911. Two more victories this weekend would make Conners the first Canadian to win the Am since Gary Cowan in 1971.

It’s a difficult draw for Conners, ranked 44th in the world. He will face off against No. 36 Denny McCarthy in Saturday morning’s semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, No. 776 Gunn Yang will play No. 619 Fred Wedel.