Aussie Goss through to US Amateur final
Oliver Goss will play England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick in the 36-hole final of the US Amateur Championship being played at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Goss progressed to the final with a 2-up victory over fellow Aussie Brady Watt, while Fitzpatrick defeated Canada’s Corey Conners, 2&1.Oliver Goss and his caddie Taylor MacDonald on the 18th hole after winning his semi-final match (Credit: USGA/John Mummert)
Goss is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, where he is a kinesiology major. Last year Goss advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Amateur and drew upon those experiences in today’s match against Watt, who was playing in his first US Amateur
When he made a 10-foot uphill birdie putt on the fourth and then sank a 9-footer for another birdie on the par-3 7th, Goss had moved to a 2-up margin through seven.
But Watt regrouped by holing an 11-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the 8th before winning the 10th with a par when Goss found the left greenside bunker to bring the match to all square.
Goss, who earned All-America honours at the University of Tennessee as a freshman last year, regained the lead for good on the 11th with an 18-foot birdie putt. He kept that advantage on the demanding 509-yard, par-4 14th by sinking a 30-foot putt for birdie to halve the hole, as Watt was in tight with his approach shot.
In recent clashes Goss has had the better of Watt, winning the 2012 WA Amateur Final over Watt and winning the 2012 WA Open in a playoff, yet today’s semi-final was a classic dog fight between two great mates with neither giving an inch and the match remaining in the balance for the majority of the day.
The players halved the following three holes to set up the match’s conclusion on the par-4 eighteenth with Goss 1-up.
Goss found the putting surface in regulation, while Watt was faced with a daunting chip after going over the green with his second shot. Watt was unable to convert his 10-foot par putt, then he conceded Goss’ 3-footer for par and the win.
“It has not sunk in yet,” said Goss, 19, at his post-round interview.
“Like being a finalist and I don’t think it will for a couple of days. I used a lot of my experience as last year here and used it to do as well as I could today. The putt on 14 was definitely a game changer today and to sink that putt was unbelievable and had a huge advantage for me.”
Fitzpatrick, 18, won the British Boys Amateur in 2012 and recorded top-10 finishes in the McGregor Trophy and the European Young Masters.
Ranked number two in the world, Fitzpartick played for Great Britain & Ireland in the Jacques Leglise Trophy against Continental Europe after winning the Boys’ Amateur. He closed out the 2012 season by winning the Daily Telegraph Junior Championship.
Fitzpatrick is seeking to become just the second Englishman to to win the US Amateur, the last was Harold Hilton back in 1911.
“It’s a nice position to be in,” said Fitzpatrick.
“I’m just giving it my best, and if I don’t play well enough on the day, then that’s that, really.”
Goss has never played against Fitzpatrick, yet appreciates the enormity of what is ahead for tomorrow’s final.
“I don’t know much about him,” said Goss.
“I watched him at the British Open. He’s obviously a really good player to get the low amateur at the Open. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”
” Looks like we have similar kind of games, and I’m really excited to get out there and give it my best go.”