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Crocker on course at US Amateur Championship

ZIMBABWE amateur golf sensation Sean Crocker continued his charge at the prestigious United States Amateur Championship after erasing a two-hole deficit in the quarterfinals on Friday to advance to the semifinals at the
Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois, Chicago.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

Crocker, who grew up in Zimbabwe before relocating to the US with his parents, trailed throughout the day in his quarterfinal match against Canada’s Austin James.

However, the 18-year-old rising star rallied late in spectacular fashion, taking his first lead on the 16th green on his way to a 2 and 1 victory, to earn a spot in the semifinals against tournament favorite Bryson DeChambeau of
the USA.

DeChambeau, the reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) individual champion and a veteran of five US Amateur Championships, beat Ireland’s Paul Dunne 2 and 3 on his way to the US Amateur semi-finals. Crocker, who is on a golf scholarship at the University of Southern California, however said he was not intimidated by his opponent’s impressive record and would be concentrating only on his game.

“I’m just going to take it one shot at a time the whole day,” Crocker said ahead of his semifinal match. “I’m really not too worried. It’s just northern person to me. It’s obvious [Bryson DeChambeau] is a top-ranked player and he’s a great player, too.

He’s beat people pretty badly in this tournament so far, but I feel like if I can play my game, hit the shots like I want to hit them, I can keep up with anyone out here. So if I can do that, I should have a good chance,” he said.

A win by Crocker against De- Chambeau will see him taking on the winner of the other semifinal between American Derek and Japan’s Kenta Konishi in the final. Bard rallied to beat Spain’s world number one ranked amateur Jon Rahm one-up while Konishi edged Matthew Perrine of the US one-up.

The semifinals were scheduled to take place late last night [Zimbabwean time] before the 36-hole championship final today.

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