Can to meet classmate Puntawong in quarterfinals

Updated: July 26, 2002, 9:38 PM ET
Associated Press

DULUTH, Ga. -- Co-medalist Tarik Can of New York won two matches Friday to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

Can, the 17-year-old from Douglaston in Queens, edged Joshua Wooding of Riverside, Calif., 2 and 1 in the second round, and beat Robert Riesen of Pinehurst, N.C., 5 and 4 in the third round on the Atlanta Athletic Club's Highlands Course.

Can will face 2001 semifinalist Chanin Puntawong of Bradenton, Fla., in the quarterfinals. Can and Puntawong are classmates at the Leadbetter Golf Academy in Bradenton.

''I'm happy,'' said Can, who used co-medalist Jarred Texter of Lancaster, Pa., as his caddie in the afternoon round. ''I'm glad I made it this far. If I lose my next match it's no big deal. I'm playing my friend.''

Puntawong beat Chris Wilson of Dublin, Ohio, 3 and 1, and Chad Moscovic of Stockton, Calif., 6 and 5.

In the other lower-bracket quarterfinal, Joe Panzeri of Boise, Idaho, will face Zac Reynolds of Edmond, Okla.

In the upper bracket, Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., will play Charlie Beljan of Mesa, Ariz., and Casey Wittenberg of Memphis, Tenn., will face left-hander Elliott Wainwright of Hillsborough, Calif.

Wainwright advanced with a 1-up victory over defending champion Henry Liaw of Rowland Heights, Calif.

''I knew he was a player that if I played 10 times, I'd lose a majority of the times,'' Wainwright said. ''But you only play once. In this match, the biggest part was believing I could win.''

Wittenberg outlasted Daniel Im of La Mirada, Calif., in 26 holes, the second-longest match in tournament history.

Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press