Crocker leaves mark on US AM champs

HARARE - Sean Crocker can afford to hold his head up high despite bowing out of the 67th U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at the quarterfinal stage on Friday.

The Zimbabwe-born teenage golf sensation suffered a three and two defeat to William Zalatoris who was playing in his fifth U.S. Junior since qualifying for the tournament as a 12-year-old.

The Texas junior ace went on to win the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course after defeating Davis Riley, of Hattiesburg with five and three victory.

However, in a match play in which every win is a cause for relief, Crocker will feel this is one tournament in which he punched above his weight.

On Tuesday he had shot a sizzling second round front-nine 30 en route to posting a two-round total of 7-under-137 to stand atop the stroke-play leader board.

That feat saw him qualifying to the match play portion of the tournament as a co-medalist and number one seed.

The talented 17-year-old went on to live up to his seeding beating Dylan McCabe one up to advance from the round of 64.

He went on to score three-and-two victories over, John Augenstein, of Owensboro in the round of 32 to book his place into the last 16.

Crocker, who now lives Westlake Village, California, continued his fine play with a 20-hole victory over close friend Sahith Theegala, of Chino Hills.

He however, met his waterloo at the hands of eventual winner Zalatoris.

The Texas based junior ace proved too stronger for Crocker surging past his opponent on the inward nine.

Trailing one down through seven, Zalatoris won four of the next six holes and advanced to the semifinals in memorable fashion.

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