Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., has advanced to the quarter-finals of the U.S. Amateur Championship after winning both his match-play events on Thursday.
In the Round of 32, Conners fought back from being 2-down with back-to-back pars on Nos. 12 and 3 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., to square the match against American Bryson Deschambeau. A birdie at No. 14 put him in the lead for the first time since the second hole and another birdie at No. 17 sealed the match 2 & 1.
In the Round of 16 matches Thursday afternoon, Conners had three birdies on his way to a 5 & 3 win over Patrick Rodgers, the all-American who is ranked fifth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Conners, the second ranked amateur in Canada, will face Neil Raymond on Friday. Raymond, the medallist in the stroke play portion of the event, is looking to become the first English winner of the prestigious event since 1911.
“I don’t feel like I’m a medallist. I just feel like I’m another competitor in the guys that are left,” Raymond said. “We’ve all got as much of a chance as anyone else. On the flip side, I feel really good about my game.”
In the other upper-bracket quarterfinal, Adam Ball will meet England’s Matt Fitzpatrick. Ball routed Chelso Barrett 6 & 5, and Fitzpatrick beat Gavin Hall 4 & 3.
Fitzpatrick, from Northwestern, is well aware he Raymond give England 25 per cent of the quarterfinals as they bid for the country’s first win in this tournament in over a century — and to further England’s name in the international community.
“It’s definitely a positive for England golf,” he said. “Neil has had a very good season already and as you can see it’s carried on.”
In the lower-bracket quarterfinals, Watt will face 17-year-old Scottie Scheffler, the youngest player in the quarterfinals; and Australia’s Oliver Goss will meet Brandon Matthews.
Scheffler, the U.S. Junior Amateur winner last month, made his third straight late comeback and beat Austria’s Matthias Schwab 1 up, Goss topped Xander Schauffele 3 & 1, and Matthews edged Charlie Danielson, 3 & 2.
Three other Canadians failed to advance on Thursday. Charlie Hughes of Maple Ridge, B.C., fell 2 & 1 to Watt in the Round of 16 while in the Round of 32, Blair Hamilton of Burlington, Ont., dropped a 4 & 3 decision to Nathan Holman and Justin Shin of Maple Ridge, B.C., lost 4 & 3 to Barrett.
Get up to date Friday scoring here.
Files from the Associated Press were used in this report