Aug. 25, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO - Like all good things, Lamar University men's golfer Casey Clendenon had his magical run come to an end with a 3 and 2 loss to Michael Thompson in the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur Championship at Olympic Club.
A native of Tucson, Ariz., Thompson birdied the par-5 first hole and never trailed in the match. Clendenon bogeyed the par-3 third hole and the par-4 fifth hole to go 3-down. A Katy native, Clendenon scratched his way back to just 2-down after Thompson, who plays collegiately at the University of Alabama, bogeyed the par-4 seventh hole. Clendenon remained 2-down until he bogeyed the par-3 13th hole to go 3-down. Another bogey on the par-3 14th hole left Thompson with a 4-up lead with four holes to play.
Clendenon, a two-time first-team All-Southland Conference selection and the 2006 SLC player of the year, birdied the par-3 15th hole to stay alive. Thompson closed out the match when both players made par-5 on the 16th hole.
"He came out playing solid and he aimed for center of greens and hit a lot of fairways," said Clendenon. "I couldn't get it going. He played better today, so he deserves it. I had a couple opportunities to get back in the match, but unfortunately I didn't and I didn't take charge of them."
Thompson will face Colt Knost in Sunday's 36-hole final. Knost, who just finished a four-year career at SMU, posted a 4 and 3 win over Jhonattan Vegas, who plays collegiately at the University of Texas. Both Thompson and Knost earned berths in to the 2008 U.S. Open and likely invitations to play in the 2008 Masters Tournament.
Knost won the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship last month. He is trying to become the sixth golfer in history to win two USGA championships in the same season, and join Ryan Moore (2004) as the second to win the Amateur and Amateur Public Links in the same year.