U.S. Am final: Yang leads Conners after first 18


JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – A missed opportunity on the 18th hole meant Gunn Yang had only a 1-up lead over Corey Conners heading into the afternoon session at the 114th U.S. Amateur.

Yang had only 165 yards left for his second shot into the par-5 18th at Atlanta Athletic Club, but he launched his second shot to the back of the green, leading to a long-range three-putt. Conners laid up from a fairway bunker, wedged to 5 feet and holed the birdie putt to cut into the deficit leading into the one-hour lunch break.

The scheduled 36-hole final will resume at 2:20 p.m. ET. Live coverage begins at 4 p.m. on NBC.

Yang, a sophomore at San Diego State, took a 1-up lead on the first hole and has yet to trail in the match. He has led by as many as 2 up.

For both players, it was a fairly sloppy morning 18, with only five total birdies made and four holes halved with bogey. Including the usual concessions Yang shot 74, while Conners carded a 75.

Yang is vying to become of the most unlikely winners in tournament history. He entered this week at No. 776 in the world rankings. Meanwhile, Conners, a recent Kent State graduate and a member of the Canadian national team, won the prestigious Jones Cup at the start of the year and is ranked No. 44.

By reaching the championship match, both players are already exempt into the 2015 Masters and U.S. Open. The winner Sunday will also earn a spot in the 2015 Open Championship.