Golfer to face fourth-ranked amateur in Saturday's semifinals of prestigious 156-man event.
Aug. 3, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma golfer Abraham Ancer won his first two rounds of match play of the 110th Annual Western Amateur Championship Friday in Highland Park, Ill., to advance to Saturday’s semifinals round of the 156-man event.
After an impressive third-place tie in the stroke play portion of the tournament, Ancer was paired with the 15th-ranked amateur golfer in the world and two-time Western Amateur medalist Chen-Tsung Pan of the University of Washington in the first round of match play at Exmoor Country Club.
Ancer and Pan put on a show, trading leads through 15 holes. Ancer took a one-up lead with back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16, but a bogey on 18 sent the match into extra holes. Each golfer birdied the 19th hole, but Ancer advanced to the quarterfinals with another birdie on No. 20.
"It was a birdie-fest out there in the morning," Ancer said. "We weren't making many mistakes and both of us played really well. We had a lot of fun."
In the quarterfinals, Ancer faced North Florida's Sean Dale. Dale advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating the 36th-ranked amateur, Jeffrey Kang.
Ancer and Dale carded par on the first hole before both struggling on No. 2. Ancer carded a three-over 7, while Dale won the hole with a double bogey. It took a few holes, but Ancer eventually warmed up and won the match on the 15 hole with a 45-foot putt for eagle.
"In the afternoon I was completely off," Ancer said. "In the morning I hit everything straight, but when I came out in the afternoon, I was hitting it really crooked. I was completely off, but after five or six holes I settled down and started making some putts and some birdies."
With wins in the Sweet 16 and quarterfinals, Ancer joins an elite group of golfers in the final four, including Chris Williams of Washington, Jordan Russell of Texas A&M and recent Dartmouth graduate Peter Williamson.
The semifinals bracket pairs Ancer with Williams, the No. 1 seed and two-time defending event medalist. Williams is the fourth-ranked amateur in the world and is coming off an event-record 17-under-par finish in the stroke play portion of the tourney.
Williams won his first match in 13 holes, and advanced to the final four after quarterfinalist Brandon Stone carded a bogey on No. 18.
"We play a lot of really good players all year long," Ancer said. "I'm just going to go out and try to make a lot of birdies."
The semifinals and final will take place Saturday, with Ancer and Williams teeing off at 7:30 a.m. The finals will begin at approximately noon. All matches are 18 holes. In the event of a tie after 18 holes, golfers will compete in a sudden-death match.