Johns Creek, Georgia - San Diego State men’s golfer Gunn Yang (Pyeong Chang, South Korea/Torrey Pines HS) continued his impressive run at the U.S. Amateur on Thursday afternoon, posting a dramatic come-from-behind victory over top-ranked Ollie Schneiderjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), 1-up, in the round of 16 at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Georgia.
With his win, the Aztec sophomore will now square off against prep senior Cameron Young (Scarborough N.Y.) in the quarterfinals Friday, starting at 11:20 a.m. ET (8:20 a.m. PT) on the Highlands Course.
After edging England’s Paul Howard by an identical 1-up score in the round of 32 Thursday morning, Yang had the daunting task of facing Schneiderjans, an All-American at Georgia Tech who finished as the 2014 NCAA individual runner-up and entered this week’s tournament as the No. 1 player in the World Amateur rankings.
The situation did not look good initially for Yang as Schneiderjans captured three of the first four holes. However, the Torrey Pines High alumnus seized the momentum, winning four of the next five holes after draining a birdie putt on the par-5, 575-yard No. 5, while Schneiderjans recorded a bogey.
After halving No. 10, Schneiderjans claimed the following two holes, capped by a successful birdie conversion on the par-5, 531-yard No. 12, to even the match. The two adversaries remained all square through the 14th, until Schneiderjans nudged in front after making par on the par-3, 267-yard No. 15, while Yang registered a bogey.
However, Yang caught lightning in a bottle, sinking birdies on the par-4 16th and the par-3 17th, while the Georgia Tech senior managed only pars. With a 1-up advantage suddenly in his possession, Yang sealed the comeback with another clutch birdie on the par-5, 507-yard 18th hole.
Yang, who has appeared in four varsity tournaments for San Diego State over the past two seasons, qualified for match play after finishing 21st in medal competition with a combined 2-under 141. In his opener on Wednesday, Yang emerged with another narrow triumph over Georgia Tech alumnus Seth Reeves (Suwanee, Ga.), 1-up.
Match play continues at the 114th edition of the U.S. Amateur on Friday and Saturday before Sunday's finale, which features the remaining two golfers competing over 36 holes. Live results for the tournament are available on the USGA web site, www.usga.org, while the Golf Channel (Fri.) and NBC (Sat.-Sun.) are providing television coverage.
San Diego State, under the direction of 12th-year head coach Ryan Donovan, returns eight letterwinners from last year's squad that received a school-record 16th consecutive NCAA regional bid. The Aztecs commence their 2014 fall schedule next month when they travel to the San Fernando Valley for the Southwestern Intercollegiate, Sept. 8-9, in Westlake Village, California.