17-year-olds Frankie Capan and Shuai Ming Wong win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball
PINEHURST, N.C. — The team of Frankie Capan and Shuai Ming Wong rallied to win the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship on Wednesday, beating Clark Collier and Kyle Hudelson 2 and 1.
The two 17-year-olds won the title when Wong sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole at the same Pinehurst No. 2 course that has hosted three U.S. Opens.
"Frankie and I had the mentality of us always being one down and playing our hardest," Wong said. "Right now it's just kind of sinking in that we won the whole thing. We obviously played our best golf this week, and (he is) just really, really just overwhelmed right now."
Capan, from North Oaks, Minnesota, plans to play at Alabama in 2018. Wong, the Hong Kong player from The Woodlands, Texas, has committed to start play at SMU that year — a decision reached after Mustangs coach Jason Enloe beat the Capan-Wong team in the round of 16 at this event last year.
"Those kids, oh my goodness," Collier said. "Those guys are going to be pros."
They won four holes on the back nine, squaring up the match with a birdie on the par-4 12th and taking the lead with another birdie two holes later before sealing it on the 17th.
Capan was playing in his fourth USGA event while Wong was in his sixth. Capan reached the round of 16 in the U.S. Junior Amateur last year, while Wong was knocked out in the round of 32.
They won this title by ending an unlikely run by a pair of Oklahoma City players.
Collier, 27, and Hudelson, 29, were the first alternates after winning a qualifier in Illinois last fall. The USGA contacted them last week to invite them to Pinehurst after the team of Cole Hammer and Philip Barbaree withdrew. Barbaree, who plays at LSU, was playing in the NCAA championship.
"We have no history," Hudelson quipped after their win in the semifinals Wednesday morning. "You could Google us and the only thing that would pop up is this championship. You'd have to search deep into Google."
In the morning semifinals, Collier and Hudson beat Patrick Christovich and NHL referee Garrett Rank in 19 holes, and Capan and Wong topped Chip Brooke and Marc Dull 4 and 2.