Australian teenager Oliver Goss is one win away from the US Amateur championship title – and starts in three of next year’s golf majors.
Goss, 19, beat good friend and fellow West Australian Brady Watt 2-up in his semi-final on Saturday to set up a showdown with England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick in the 36-hole final on the historic course at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Watt planned to stick around to caddy for Goss in the championship match against Fitzpatrick, 18, who scored a 2-and-1 win over Canada’s Corey Conners in the other semi and is bidding to become the first Englishman to win the title since 1911.
Royal Fremantle member Goss can become the third Australian winner, following Nick Flanagan in 2003 and three-time champion Walter J. Travis (1900, 1901, 1903).
Both Goss and Watt have already earned starts in next year’s US Open by reaching the semi-finals, while the title winner also gets into the 2014 Masters and 2014 British Open, all provided they remain amateur.
Experience gained when reaching the quarter-finals of the US Amateur last year paid off for Goss against second seed Watt.
An All-American as a freshman at the University of Tennessee last year, Goss grabbed a 2-up lead after seven holes with a 10-foot uphill birdie putt on the 4th hole and a nine-footer for birdie on the par-3 seventh.
Watt, who arrived in the United States for the first time on June 28, regrouped by holing an 11-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the 8th before pulling level with a par on the 10th.
But Goss regained the lead for good on the 11th hole with an 18-foot birdie putt.
He kept that advantage by sinking a 30-foot par putt to halve the demanding 509-yard, par-4 14th and played out the remaining holes in par to win.
“I used a lot of my experience from last year,” said Goss.
“I can remember a lot of the shots I hit and a lot of the feelings that I had.”
Watt readily admitted Goss was better on the day.
“Whatever I did really well, he kind of did a little bit better,” said Watt.