JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Roman Robledo’s breakthrough college season will extend into a summer session.
The Houston senior won four times last year and was ranked inside the top 20 nationally. Even with those credentials, he still was viewed as the underdog in both of his matches Thursday at the U.S. Amateur.
First up was Alabama sophomore Robby Shelton, the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world. Robledo stuffed a wedge to 7 feet on 17 to win, 1 up.
In the afternoon he drew SMU junior (and world No. 28) Bryson Dechambeau. Robledo trailed for only two holes at Atlanta Athletic Club, closing out the Hogan Award semifinalist with yet another birdie-2 on 17.
“Everything kind of fell into place,” Robledo said. “I hit some really good shots down the stretch, and I was fortunate enough to make more than a good amount of putts.
“Both players are such unbelievably good golfers. I’m very fortunate to come out on top.”
The road doesn’t get any easier for Robledo, who will square off against Virginia senior Denny McCarthy in the marquee match of the quarterfinals.
McCarthy, the No. 5-ranked player in college golf last season, was 3 down with five to play against Eli Cole, only to run off wins at Nos. 14, 15, 16 and 18.
“I felt really comfortable with my game,” he said, “and it kind of worked out in my favor.”