The 15-year-old from Houston got past top-seeded Seung Yul Noh of Korea 1-up to advance to Friday's quarterfinals. Whitsett, who earned the 16th seed with a two-round total of 2-over-par 144 during stroke play, never trailed Noh in a match that was all square through 13 holes at Boone Valley Golf Club.
'I got kind of lucky but I just wanted to get into (Friday) and do some more damage,' Whitsett said. 'It was really hard because he keeps it in play. He hits fairways and greens and two putts. He is not going to mess up.'
Noh messed up just enough with two errant shots on No. 14 to give Whitsett an opportunity. Noh never finished the hole, conceding it to Whitsett, and the golfers matched each other shot for shot over the final four holes.
Whitsett will face 25th-seeded Chris Cho of Kent, Wash., in the quarterfinals on Friday morning. The semifinals are set for Friday afternoon and a 36-hole championship round is scheduled for Saturday.
Cho easily advanced to the quarters. He won Nos. 9, 10 and 11 to go 3-up and added a win at No. 14 after Jack Fields bogeyed the par-5 hole.
The players played two rounds Thursday with the field cut from 32 from the morning round to 16 in the afternoon.
Wesley Graham, 17, of Port Orange, Fla., is the only quarterfinalist from a year ago to reach the final eight again. He earned a 1-up victory over Morgan Hoffman of Saddle Brook, N.J.
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