ATLANTA - On one of the most grueling days in one of the most grueling tournaments, University of Houston senior All-American Roman Robledo grinded out consecutive victories to advance to the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Championship on Thursday at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Robledo, who is playing as the No. 46 seed, sank a birdie on the 17th hole to defeat Alabama First-Team All-American Robby Shelton 1-up in the morning match and followed that with a 3 and 1 win over SMU star Bryson DeChambeau just a few hours later.
He became the first Cougar to advance to the U.S. Amateur Championship Quarterfinals since All-American Andy Sanders in 1999. He will meet No. 22 seed Denny McCarthy at 11 a.m., Friday with a berth to the Semifinals on the line.
Houston has not been represented in the U.S. Amateur Championship Semifinals since Keith Fergus finished as runner-up at the 1975 Championship on the James River Course at Country Club of Virginia.
Fans can follow live scoring by visiting USGA.org and following the appropriate links. Fans can view the complete bracket by clicking here.
Fans also can watch the quarterfinal matches on The Golf Channel from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. (CDT), Friday.
In the morning round against Shelton, Robledo overcame an early deficit that saw him 2 down through the first four holes. The two players halved the next four holes before Robledo posted back-to-back pars to win Nos. 9 and 10 to square the match.
Robledo took his first lead of the match with another par on the 531-yard, par-4 12th hole and held that advantage until Shelton squared the match with a birdie on the 267-yard, par-4 15th hole.
After halving the 16th hole, Robledo grabbed the lead for good with a birdie on the 144-yar, par-3 17th hole. Both players finished with pars on the 507-yard, par-5 18th hole to clinch the match for Robledo.
Following a brief break, Robledo returned to the course for his afternoon match against SMU's Bryson DeChambeau.
Again, Robledo fell behind early after bogeying the first hole but this time, he didn't need any late heroics to clinch the match. He squared the match on the 447-yard, par-4 third hole with a par and then sank back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 to take a 2 up lead. He would never trail or see the match squared again.
Each time DeChambeau closed in, Robledo had an answer. When the SMU junior moved to within 1-down after a birdie on the sixth hole, the Cougar star drained a birdie on the ninth hole.
DeChambeau rallied again with a birdie on the par-5 12th hole, but Robledo countered on the very next hole with a birdie of his own.
The two players halved Nos. 14, 15 and 16, before Robledo iced the contest with a birdie on the 17th hole.
Earlier this month, Houston Women's Golf junior Raegan Bremer qualified for match play at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y.
ABOUT Roman Robledo
Robledo, who will be a senior with the Cougars in 2014-15, recently finished one of the finest seasons in school history. The Harlingen, Texas, native won four tournaments in 2013-14, including three straight to open the spring campaign.
His 71.24 scoring average ranks sixth in Houston single-season history, and he moved into a tie for fourth in school history with five individual titles during his career.
For his impressive achievements, Robledo was named to the PING All-America Second Team, the first Cougar to be honored so highly since Andy Sanders in 2000. He also earned places on the PING All-Central Region and All-American Athletic Conference teams.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The U.S. Amateur Championship winner receives a gold medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the ensuing year, an exemption from qualifying for the 2015 U.S. Open, an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Amateur Championships, an exemption from qualifying for the 2015 British Open Championship and a likely invitation to the 2015 Masters Tournament.
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