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updated: 8/2/2014 1:50 PM

Western Am: 2 Illini in semis; Ghim ousted

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Special to the Daily Herald

The University of Illinois hasn't had this many players in a final four since 2005, when the basketball team navigated its way through the NCAA Tournament.

Incoming freshman Nick Hardy and senior Brian Campbell survived two 18-hole matches against tough opponents Friday to advance to this morning's semifinal round at The Beverly Country Club.

The future Illini teammates could meet in the afternoon finals should both win their morning matches.

The Western Amateur's Sweet 16 featured 12 matches on Friday, and no one was more dominant than Hardy, 18, of Northbrook, a recent graduate of Glenbrook North.

Hardy, who will take on Texas sophomore Beau Hossler at 7:30 a.m., disposed of Australia's Geoff Drakeford, the No. 3 amateur in the world, 6 and 4 with 7 birdies.

In the afternoon, Hardy defeated heralded Texas incoming freshman Scottie Scheffler, 17, of Dallas, 5 and 4.

"Nick was in complete control," said his longtime instructor Brett Packee. "He just hit it great. Played great."

Campbell, the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2014, won his morning match 2 and 1 against New Zealand's Josh Munn, who was runner-up in medalist play. That match was all square until Campbell made birdies on Nos. 13 and 16 and closed it out with a par 3 on the difficult 17th.

It took Campbell 23 holes to win his afternoon match against Australia's Cory Crawford.

Campbell will tee it up at 7:45 a.m. against San Diego State's Xander Schauffele.

Meanwhile, the other local in the field, medalist Doug Ghim, 18, of Arlington Heights, who will be a freshman at Texas, won his morning match 1-up over Matt Hansen.

But Ghim fell to Hossler, his future Longhorn teammate, on the 19th hole of their classic back-and-forth afternoon match, with both players shooting 5-under 30s on the back nine.

Ghim, who said it felt "weird" to play against a future teammate, said the two didn't chat during their match.

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