USC's Sean Crocker advances to U.S. Amateur Championship semifinals

Tim Cowie

USC

There's no denying it: USC men's golf is red hot, and leading that charge for the Trojans is 18-year-old sophomore and Zimbabwe native Sean Crocker. Crocker, who helped catapult USC into the championship round of the 2015 NCAA men's golf tournament in Bradenton, Florida., has again found himself vying for championship contention — this time at the USGA Amateur Championship in Olympia Fields, Illinois.

Crocker on Friday defeated Canada's Austin James, 2-up, in a back-and-forth quarterfinals battle. After being all square through the 15th hole, James bogeyed 16 while Crocker saved par to take the lead. The tandem halved on 17, and Crocker birdied 18 to secure his victory and a place in Saturday's semifinal round. 

The young Trojan's berth in Friday's quarterfinals was somewhat serendipitous. In Thursday's round of 16, Crocker went to a playoff against vaunted Alabama men's golfer Robby Shelton. Crocker cupped a 12-foot putt to take a one-stroke lead on the second playoff hole. Shelton then botched a three-foot gimme to tie, and advanced Crocker one step closer to a USGA championship. Crocker used that momentum to churn out another late win on Friday, and will need to keep using it if he plans to beat 2015 NCAA individual champion Bryson DeChambeau in the semifinals. That matchup will air on Saturday at 12 p.m. PT on FOX. 

[Related: 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship scoreboard (USGA.com)]

Arizona State

Friday was unforgiving to Arizona State men's golfer (not to mention the world's top-ranked amateur) Jon Rahm, who fell in the quarterfinals, 1-down, to the University of Virginia's Derek Bard. Rahm, who was 3-up on Bard through 10, never won another hole, and saw Bard win four holes on the home stretch.

Stay with Pac-12.com and follow @Pac12Networks on Twitter for continuing coverage of the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship.

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