World's top-ranked amateur falls in US Am quarterfinals

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. — Steven Fox played well while battling though some jitters in earlier matches. He did even better once he relaxed.


Fox took advantage of a strong start to beat Chris Williams, the world’s top-ranked amateur, in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills on Friday.

“I was nervous the first couple of matches, and for some reason, this match I kind of felt at home,” Fox said. “I was finally playing with the galleries and enjoyed myself out there, and really just had fun.”

The 21-year-old Fox, from Hendersonville, Tenn., beat the 21-year-old Williams, from Moscow, Idaho, 4 and 2. A senior at Chattanooga, Fox will play Brandon Hagy, of Westlake Village, Calif., in the semifinals today.

The 21-year-old Hagy, one of two golfers from the University of California to reach the semifinals, beat Cheng-Tsung Pan, of Taiwan 4 and 3.

Michael Weaver, of Fresno, Calif., who also a member of Cal’s golf team, beat Ricardo Gouveia, of Portugal, 4 and 3. He’ll meet Alabama’s Justin Thomas, of Goshen, Ky., in the other semifinal. Thomas edged Australian Oliver Goss 2-up.

Fox made two birdies in a bogey-free front nine. Williams had two bogeys.

“This is by far the best thing I’ve done in my career, by far,” Fox said.

The 19-year-old Thomas, 19, the Jack Nicklaus Award winner as the nation’s top collegiate player, was only 1-up on Goss heading into No. 18.

Thomas was able to make par and the 18-year-old Goss, an incoming freshman at Tennessee, missed a long putt from the lip of the green to try to square the match.


CHAMPIONS TOUR: In Endicott, N.Y., Bernhard Langer topped the leaderboard at 7-under when first-round play in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open was suspended because of rain.

Coming off a victory two weeks ago in the 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn., Langer was facing an 8-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole when play was stopped at En-Joie Golf Course.

“I played pretty solid. I drove the ball very well. I hit a lot of fairways to give myself opportunities with my iron shots,” said Langer.

After 1.7 inches of rain fell Tuesday night, the course couldn’t hold much more water Friday before it became unplayable. Gene Smith, assistant tournament director for the Champions Tour, said it would’ve taken at least an hour for the course to become playable again once the rain stopped.

“We have several fairways out there that are totally under water,” Smith said. “We’re not going to play that way.”


WEB.COM TOUR: In Overland Park, Kan., Bryan DeCorso shot 8-under-par 63 to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the Midwest Classic at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate.

DeCorso is at 10-under 132 overall. Christopher DeForest (67 on Friday), Benoit Beisser (68) and Kevin Foley (70) are tied for second.

Augusta’s Scott Parel shot 70 and missed the 140 cut by a stroke. Aiken native Matt Hendrix had 71 for the second consecutive day and also also missed the cut.