Liu leads the way into the Semi Finals of The Amateur Championship

American junior prodigy Jim Liu (right) took his place in the Semi Finals of The Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports today.

The 17-year-old from Long Island was the youngest winner of the US Junior Open in 2010 at the age of 14. The previous youngest winner was Tiger Woods who won in 1991 aged 15. Liu added to his growing list of achievements with a 3&2 Quarter Final victory over 16-year-old Italian Renato Paratore.

“It’s been a great week so far,” he said. “Renato played really well in the beginning and I was lucky to hang in there. “I came over here a little early and played some links golf beforehand. It’s been good so far and hopefully I can keep it going. I just want to try to keep doing what I have been doing and see where that takes me.”

Liu will face Garrick Porteous who enjoyed a 2&1 victory over his friend and occasional foursomes partner Neil Raymond. He said, “I got off to a slow start then holed a great putt to eagle the 5th, then birdied 6 and 8. I was three up after nine and was feeling confident but I know Neil is a quality player and was always going to come back strong so just had to grind in. We both had birdies on 10 then I knew I just had to par in from there.  Neil played solidly and didn’t really make any mistakes he got up and down on 16 from an impossible shot so fair play to him.”

In the other Semi-Final, Finalnd’s Toni Hakula (left) will face local favourite Max Orrin. Hakula (21), who will go into his senior year at the University of Texas in August, brought the run of Frenchman Paul Barjon to an end with a 4&3 victory. He said, “I played really good, I shot 5 under out there and didn’t make a bogey. You just have to hit fairways and greens. Today I got up early in the match and was able to concentrate on putting pressure on the other guy. I made a lot of putts and got up and down from where I needed to which was key.”

Orrin maintained his fine form with a 7-under-par round to notch up a 4&3 victory over Huddersfield’s Nick Marsh and said he appreciated the support he was receiving from the local fans. “I played the front nine really nicely and had an eagle and three birdies,” said the Walker Cup hopeful. “I kept it solid on the back nine with one birdie and the rest pars so I didn’t do a lot wrong today. I didn’t give him an opportunity to get a foot in the door. I’m just trying to have fun. There are a lot of people walking with me including family and friends which has been nice but I have to focus.”

For scoring from the Semi Finals click here. Follow the championship on Twitter at @TheAmateurLive.

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