CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. – University of Washington teammates Chris Williams and Cheng-Tsung Pan hoped to meet in a U.S. Amateur semifinal this morning.
Instead, both were sidelined in the quarterfinals Friday at Cherry Hills.
Williams – the UW senior from Moscow, Idaho, and the top-ranked amateur in the world – fell back early against Steven Fox and could never catch up in a 4-and-2 defeat.
Pan, a sophomore from Taiwan, had an early lead against a familiar foe, Pacific-12 Conference rival Brandon Hagy of California. But Hagy rallied to a 4-and-3 victory.
Fox, a senior at Tennessee-Chattanooga, overcame nerves to stake his early lead against Williams in a match between 21-year-olds.
“I was nervous the first couple of matches, and for some reason, this match I kind of felt at home,” Fox said.
Fox birdied No. 3 and went 2 up when Williams bogeyed No. 4. He padded his lead by winning No. 6 and No. 9.
“… To be 4-up after nine was beyond expectations,” Fox said. “I thought it was going to be a really close match. I give him respect for being the No. 1 amateur, but luckily I got it done.”
Pan birdied No. 3 and had a 2-up lead after No. 4. But Hagy won the next three holes, then also won No. 10 and No. 11.
Fox and Hagy duel in one semifinal today. Michael Weaver, a Cal player from Fresno, Calif., and Justin Thomas, a University of Alabama player from Goshen, Ky., are also semifinalists.
The 36 hole final will be Sunday. Both finalists will be in the Masters and the U.S. Open next year.
If he retains his No. 1 amateur ranking, Williams will be exempt for the U.S. Open and the British Open.