Oklahoma State’s Aman Gupta outlasted incoming Stanford freshman Michael Thorbjornsen 1-up on Friday at windy Bandon Dunes to advance to the U.S. Amateur semifinals.
Gupta, from Concord, North Carolina, got into the field last Friday when second-ranked No. 2 Ricky Castillo withdrew.
”I feel great about my game,” Gupta said. ”I’m still hitting it good. Chipping was a little bit of a struggle, but I kind of found my rhythm last night after the round, and I’ve been putting good all week. I’m just going to go hit my game plan tomorrow and hopefully pull out a win and get to the final.”
Gupta tied Thorbjornsen, the 2018 U.S. Junior champion from Wellesley, Massachusetts, with a birdie on the par-4 14th and took the lead with a par win on the par-3 15th. Thorbjornsen pulled even with a birdie on the par-4 16th, Gupta won the 17th with a par and they halved the par-5 18th to end the match.
Gupta will face Tyler Strafaci, the Georgia Tech player who broke a tie with a par on par-4 17th in a 1-up victory over 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Stewart Hagestad.
”Today, I told myself I had to play one of the best rounds of golf I’ve ever played, and I thought I did,” Strafaci said. ”I had really good composure. I gave up a 2-up lead and really had a good mindset. My dad kept me calm.”
Matthew Sharpsten and SMU’s Charles Osborne advanced in the lower half of the bracket.
Sharpstene, who is transferring from West Virginia to Charlotte, beat LSU’s Philip Barbaree 4 and 2.
”It’s been an unreal experience so far,” Sharpstene said.
Osborne beat Arizona State’s Cameron Sisk 2 and 1. After losing a four-hole lead in four holes on the back nine, Osborne rallied to win the 15th and 16th.
”At the beginning of the week if you said I was going to the semis I probably wouldn’t believe you,” Osborne said. ”I’m really happy to be here and really excited, too. I’ve got a lot of support from family back home, so it’s a lot of fun to be in this position.”