BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – Sunday’s semifinals in the 2008 Western Amateur at Point O’Woods Golf & Country Club will feature a pair of top U.S. collegians, Texas A&M sophomore Conrad Shindler and UCLA senior Erik Flores, battling against two highly-regarded international players, Danny Lee and Victor Dubuisson.
Shindler, 20, will meet Lee, 18, of Rotorua, New Zealand, in the first semifinal at 8 a.m., while Flores, 21, will square off against Dubuisson, 18, Mougins, France, at 8:15 a.m.
“I wasn’t playing well coming into this week,” said Shindler, of Westlake, Texas, who qualified for the championship Monday at Lake Michigan Hills. “But this course fits my eye great. I love fast green like this.”
Shindler sealed his 1-up victory over Gregor Main in the quarterfinals Saturday afternoon by dropping a 50-foot birdie putt on the final hole, the par 4, 421-yard 18th.
“My putter has been unbelievable. I’ve been putting lights out,” said Shindler. “When my putter’s working, everything else falls in place.”
Lee’s success in the 106th Western Amateur comes as no surprise. Heading into the Western Amateur, he was fourth in the Golfweek Scratch Players World Rankings. He earned medalist honors on Friday by posting a 12-under-par 268 through 72 holes of stroke play.
In the other quarterfinal matches, Lee turned back Morgan Hoffman, 3 and 2, Flores edged Jude Eustaquio, 2 and 1, and Dubuisson outlasted Sihwan Kim, 3 and 1.
Danny Lee, 18, Rotorua, New Zealand
Graduate, Rotorua Boys Academy. 2008 British Open alternate. Won the 2008 North Island Amateur and the 2008 Lake Macquarie. Semifinalist, 2008 Australian Amateur. 2006 and 2007 winner, New Zealand under 23 stroke play. Winner, 2007 South Island Amateur and 2007 New Zealand Amateur. Second, 2007 SBS Invitational in New Zealand and 2007 Dogwood Invitational. Quarterfinalist, 2006 U.S. Junior. Playing in his second Western Amateur.
Conrad Shindler, 20, Westlake, Texas
Sophomore, Texas A&M University. 2006 AJGA first-team All-American. In 2006, won the AJGA Smithfield and AjGA Stars of Texas Junior. Second, 2006 Ping Invitational. Qualified for 2006 U.S. Amateur. Playing in is second Western Amateur. Qualified Monday at Lake Michigan Hills.
Erik Flores, 21, Grass Valley, California
Senior, UCLA. NCAA All-American in 2006 and 2008 and 2006 All Freshman team. Helped lead UCLA to the 2008 NCAA Championship, tying for 33rd invidually. 2006 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and first-team All Pac-10. Six top five finishes in Collegiate tournaments in his freshman year. Third, 2008 Sahalee Players Championship. Co-medalist and quarterfinalist, Pacific Northwest Amateur. Winner, 2005 California State Fair Men's Amateur. Member of the winning U.S. team in the 2005 Toyota World Junior Championship. Second, 2005 Azalea Amateur. 2005 World Junior Cup champion. 2003-2004 AJGA and FCWT first-team All-American. Playing in his third Western Amateur. Advanced to the quarterfinals in match play in 2006.
Victor Dubuisson, 18, Mougins, France
French National Training Center & Team. Winner, 2008 Mexican International Amateur and 2006 French Amateur (youngest in history). Third, 2008 South African Stroke Play Amateur. 2008 French team captain in England vs. France matches. Finalist, 2007 Northern Open Amateur. Semifinalist, 2007 South African Amateur Fourth, 2007 Lignel Trophy and 2005 French Open Amateur. 2004 French Junior Masters champion. Playing in his first Western Amateur.