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Pepperdine's Frederick Wedel advances to U.S. Amateur semifinals

Frederick Wedel of Pepperdine beats Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh, 4 and 3, to advance to U.S. Amateur semifinals

Frederick Wedel of Pepperdine continued his surprising run at the U.S. Amateur golf tournament Friday by defeating Nathan Smith, 4 and 3, to advance to the semifinals.

Wedel, who is No. 619 in the world amateur golf rankings, used birdies at the 12th and 13th holes to go ahead by four holes over the 36-year-old Smith, who is a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion from Pittsburgh, before clinching the victory with a par at No. 16.

"I didn’t give him many opportunities," Wedel said in an interview after the round at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga. "I don’t think I made a bogey today. I played steady and was just patient.

"The course is tough right now. You have to drive it straight. The greens are really burning fast. So, I just had confidence in my putter. ... If I gave myself enough chances and I just capitalized, I knew I’d knock it close a couple of times."

Wedel, who turns 20 next week and was an all-state player at the Woodlands, Texas, will play Gunn Yang, a South Korean who plays at San Diego State, in the semifinals on Saturday. Yang earned a 2-up victory over 17-year-old Cameron Young, who is a senior in high school in Scarborough, N.Y., in the quarterfinals.

In the other quarterfinals, Canadian Corey Conners, a 22-year-old who is ranked No. 44 in the world, defeated 20-year-old Zachary Olsen of Oklahoma State, 2 and 1, while 21-year-old Denny McCarthy of Virginia downed 21-year-old Roman Robledo of Houston, 3 and 2.

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