Hammer, Hovland set up semifinal match at US Amateur

Published 10:21 p.m. ET Aug. 17, 2018 | Updated 10:32 p.m. ET Aug. 17, 2018

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Texas teen Cole Hammer and Norway’s Viktor Hovland advanced Friday at Pebble Beach in the U.S. Amateur to set up a semifinal match.

Hammer, the 18-year-old Houston player headed to the University of Texas this fall, beat England’s Alex Fitzpatrick 3 and 2. Hammer is 17-1 in match play this year, winning the Western Amateur and teaming with Garrett Barber to take the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball.

“I was 2 up after five holes and I hit the ball better today than I did yesterday,” Hammer said. “I’m trying not to think any further down the line.”

Hovland, a junior at Oklahoma State, had his second straight 7-and-6 victory, routing Austin Squires of Union, Kentucky.

“I’m just playing really well,” said Hovland, who helped Oklahoma State win the NCAA team title on its home course in May. “I’m hitting the greens and making the putts. I’m just placing the ball in the right spot. I’ve been playing aggressively. I’m teeing it up and hitting it hard.””

UCLA sophomore Devon Bling of Ridgecrest and Stanford senior Isaiah Salinda of South San Francisco will meet in an all-California…

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