Higtons fall in Four-Ball quarterfinals

Jason and Ryan Higton of Fresno, the last Californians left in the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, were beaten by Todd White of Spartanburg, S.C., and Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh, 3 and 2, in the quarterfinals on the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Earlier in the day, the Higton brothers defeated Kyle Suppa and Kyosuke Hara of Honolulu in the Round of 16, 2 and 1.

Also in the morning round, Draegen Majors of Tulsa, Okla., and Brooks Price of Dallas knocked off medalists Maverick McNealy and Viraat Badhwar of Stanford, 1 up; White and Smith  beat Austin Smotherman of Loomis and Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis, 2 and 1; and Zach Atkinson of Colleyville, Texas, and James Edmondson of North Richland Hills, Texas, defeated Jake Yount of Danville and Tim Mickelson of  Scottsdale, Ariz., 3 and 1.

“I could tell from the get-go when they were making awesome pars that they were a team to be reckoned with for sure,” said McNealy, the Pacific 12 Conference individual champion from Portola Valley. “They played well and closed awesome. They birdied 13, 15, 17 and 18.

“We felt we were in it the whole way. We were never up or down more than one the whole way. I felt like we had birdie opportunities coming in. but didn’t convert on 17 and 18.”

In the semifinals, White and Smith will play Sam Burns of Shreveport, La., and Austin Connelley of Irving, Texas, who downed Matthew Simone of Pittsburgh and Corey Bacon of Cave Creek, Ariz., 2 and 1.

In the other semi, Sherrill Britt of West End, N.C., and Greg Earnhardt of Greensboro, who beat Majors and Price, N.C., 2 and 1, will play Scott Harvey of Greensboro, N.C., and Todd Mitchell of Bloomington, Ill., who got past Zach Atkinson  of Colleyville, Texas, and James Edmondson of North Richland, Texas, 3 and 2.


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