Golf: Aman Gupta enters semi-final of US Amateur golf

Indian-American golfer Aman Gupta’s dream run at the 120th US Amateur continued as he beat the younger but higher-ranked Michael Thorbjornsen 1-up in the quarter-finals at Bandon Dunes here.

The 21-year-old Gupta trailed Thorbjornsen till the 13th, but tied at the 14th and went ahead on 15th. Thorbjornsen pulled level again on 16th, before Gupta won the 17th with a par and they halved the 18th and that sent Gupta into the last four.

He will now meet Tyler Strafaci, World ranked 56th from Georgia Tech. Strafaci won 1-up over 2016 US Mid-Amateur champion Stewart Hagestad.

“I feel great about my game. 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,” said Gupta.

“I’m just going to go hit my game plan tomorrow and hopefully pull out a win and get to the final.”

Gupta’s parents are of Indian origin but he was born in the US and is enrolled at Oklahoma State, which has a very strong golf team, that till recently had Viktor Hovland, a 2018 US Amateur winner, and now a PGA Tour winner.

Gupta, who also played at the 2019 edition, and is a quarter-finalist from the 2017 US Junior Amateurs, came into this year’s event as a last-minute entrant when World No. 2 Ricky Castillo withdrew.

Gupta, now ranked 500th in the world amateur rankings, was ranked as high at 240s at one time.

On a windswept day at the Bandon Dunes resort, Aman, who earned the fifth seeding after the stroke play, trailed the 18-year-old 2018 US Junior Amateur champion, Thorbjornsen, till the 13th hole.

Gupta fell two down to Thorbjornsen after 10 holes. He was still one down after 13th but then first pulled level and then went ahead. Gupta won four of the next seven holes from 11th to 17th to outlast the No. 43 player.

Gupta is attempting to become the sixth Oklahoma State player to win the U.S. Amateur.

The earlier ones are Labron Harris Jr. (1962), Bob Dickson (1967), Scott Verplank (1984), Peter Uihlein (2010) and Viktor Hovland (2018).