By Mike Dougherty
Cameron Young is done taking baby steps.
The 17-year-old from Scarborough is proving he ranks among the best golfers in the country, advancing to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Championship with a pair of wins at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Young dispatched Isaiah Logue in the morning, winning the last three holes to post a 2-up win over the Pennsylvania resident who is heading for Liberty University. He played even better in the Round of 16, posting a 1-up victory over Kyle Jones, who earned All-America honors last spring at Baylor University.
The Fordham Prep senior is now exempt from qualifying for next year’s U.S. Amateur at Olympia Fields.
“I’ve been playing well and I’m just really happy with how I’ve been hitting the ball,” Young said. “The first couple days, I played solidly and then I got a little lucky, got a couple good breaks here and there.”
The Wake Forest commit had the match dormie, but Jones responded with birdies at Nos. 17 and 18. The pressure was on and extra holes were looming. Young, though, rolled in a slippery birdie putt of his own from about 20 feet to seal the win.
“To make that one was pretty special,” he said. “(I felt) complete relief. I’d been up and then I gave it back a little bit, and to make that last putt was really key.”
Young is back on the course Friday at 11:20 a.m. to play Gunn Yang, a San Diego State junior from South Korea.
Going head-to-head with older competitors is not new to Young, who is the son of Sleepy Hollow Country Club head professional David Young.
“There have been a lot of really good college players right around where I live, so I’ve grown up the last few years playing against people that were a little older than me and I’ve always put myself right with them,” said Young, who mentioned Cameron Wilson, Max Buckley and Mike Miller in the media tent. “I think that really helped, and is making me feel like I belong here and like I should be playing here.”