Corey Conners, 22, of Canada, and Gunn Yang, 20, of South Korea, won their semifinal-round matches to advance to Sunday’s 36-hole championship match of the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship, held at Atlanta Athletic Club’s 7,167-yard, par-71 Highlands Course.
Conners, who made the semifinals in 2013, beat University of Virginia All-American Denny McCarthy, 21, of Rockville, Md., 1 up. He is Canada’s first U.S. Amateur finalist since Gary Cowan won the title for the second time in 1971.
“It feels pretty good to have made it a little bit further than last year,” said the recent Kent State graduate, who lost to eventual champion Matt Fitzpatrick in the 2013 semifinals. “It was a lot of fun last year and I learned a lot. But yeah, I’m just really excited about this year. I am playing some nice golf and I am really pumped up for tomorrow to have some fun and try and finish it off.”
Yang, playing in his first U.S. Amateur, defeated Pepperdine University junior Frederick Wedel, 19, of The Woodlands, Texas, in 19 holes.
“I want to win the tournament,” said Gunn, who had disc surgery in his back in May 2013. “Obviously I want to put my name on the trophy with all the best players around the world. Yeah, that’s my goal.”
The 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play, followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with a 36-hole final on Sunday, starting at 9 a.m. The second 18 holes is scheduled to begin at 2:20 p.m.
Yang, who grew up in Korea and played competitive amateur golf in Australia for five years, is a sophomore at San Diego State University. He built a 2-up lead through four holes but Wedel, who defeated four-time USGA champion Nathan Smith in the quarterfinals, won three of the next four holes for a 1-up lead.
By reaching the U.S. Amateur Championship final, Conners and Yang have each earned an exemption into the 2015 U.S. Open – provided they remain amateurs – and a likely invitation to next year’s Masters Tournament. The champion receives an exemption into the 2015 British Open Championship.
All quarterfinalists earn an exemption into the 2015 U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.
Semifinal Round Results
Gunn Yang, Republic of Korea (141) def. Frederick Wedel, The Woodlands, Texas (144), 19 holes
Corey Conners, Canada (142) def. Denny McCarthy, Rockville, Md. (141), 1 up
Championship (36 holes)*
9 a.m. –Gunn Yang, Republic of Korea (141) vs. Corey Conners, Canada (142)
* Afternoon round is scheduled to begin at 2:20 p.m.