Michigan's Nick Carlson reaches US Amateur semifinals
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) Michigan sophomore Nick Carlson advanced to the U.S. Amateur semifinals Friday in an unlikely hometown run at Oakland Hills.
Carlson, from Hamilton, Michigan, beat Illinois junior Dylan Meyer of Evansville, Indiana, 3 and 1, taking the lead with a birdie chip-in on the par-4 14th that he celebrated with a running, double fight pump.
''I drew an amazing lie,'' Carlson said. ''It was perfect. Probably the best one I've had all week. And then I bumped a 9-iron into the hill. I hit the leaf I was trying to hit and it took another hop and just kind of trickled right on down.''
Wearing a Wolverines outfit, the 19-year-old Carlson won the par-4 15th with a birdie and ended the match with a par victory on the par-3 17th on the Donald Ross-designed South Course that Ben Hogan dubbed ''The Monster'' in his 1951 U.S. Open victory.
Carlson will face 20-year-old Australian Curtis Luck, a 2-up winner over Pepperdine sophomore Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills, California.
''It's always good to have a crowd,'' Luck said about the home support for Carlson. ''I'm looking forward to it. We'll just see. Hopefully, maybe I'll have to give them something to clap about even if they don't want to. That's how it is. I understand, being from Michigan, he's going to have a big following. And it's great to see he's got such a massive crowd supporting him this week.''
Carlson is 1,981st in the world amateur ranking. He averaged 73.90 in 11 events for Michigan as a freshman, with his best finish a tie for third in the 2015 Windon Memorial Classic. In the Big Ten Match Play Championships in February, he was 0-2-1.
''I'm the calmest I've ever been this week,'' said Carlson, playing in his first USGA championship. ''I'm not really sure what's going on. I'm not sure who is playing golf for me, but it's happening, and it's pretty cool.''
Boote is 41st in the rankings.
In the other quarterfinals, Oklahoma sophomore Brad Dalke of Norman, Oklahoma, beat former Stanford player David Boote of Wales 3 and 2, and Southern California junior Jonah Texeira of Porter Ranch, California, topped LSU sophomore Luis Gagne of Orlando, Florida, 3 and 2.
Luke is seventh in the rankings, Texeira 223rd, and Dalke 265th.