Tiger Woods, 18, of Cypress, Calif., won the last three holes of the
36-hole final match versus Trip Kuehne, of McKinney, Texas, to score what
is believed to be the biggest come-from-behind victory in U.S. Amateur
history at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Woods' 2 up victory also
established him as the youngest champion and first African-American champion
in 94 years of the U.S. Amateur.
Woods trailed Kuehne by 6 holes after the first 13 holes, but drew to
just 4 down at the end of the morning round. Then in the afternoon round
he rallied to win six of the last 10 holes.
He took the lead in the match for the first time by making birdie 2
from 12 feet on No. 17. His tee shot on the 17th flirted with disaster,
coming within a foot of dropping off the famous island green and into
the water. He sealed his win when Kuehne's long bid for birdie on the
final hole rolled 6 feet by and he missed the comeback attempt.
"I knew if I just hung in there, sooner or later those putts were going
to go in," said Woods, a student at Stanford University. "And they did.
Coming back from 6 down means the most," added Woods, who earned invitations
to the 1995 U.S. Open, Masters, and British Open. Woods finished a collective
7-under par for the day, while Kuehne was 5-under.
"I gave it my best," said Kuehne, a 22-year-old student at Oklahoma
State. "I made all of my birdies in the first 13 holes and only one in
the last 23 holes while Tiger made his birdies late in the day."
Woods advanced to the final by beating Eric Frishette, of Carroll, Ohio,
in his semifinal match, 5 and 3. He was the equivalent of 5 under par
when he closed out the match with a conceded birdie at No. 15.
Kuehne advanced by beating Kris Cox, of San Antonio, Texas, his college
teammate, 1 up. Kuehne took the lead for good in his match with a birdie
at the par 5 16th.
Woods was also severely tested in the third round, when he rallied from
three holes down with five holes to play in defeating former Amateur Champion
Buddy Alexander, of Gainesville, Fla. Woods won four consecutive holes
to close out Alexander, 1 up.
Defending champion John Harris, of Edina, Minn., lost in the second
round of match play to Chuck Jabaley, of Cleveland, Tenn., in a math that
lasted 20 holes. A third former champion, Mitch Voges, of Simi Valley,
Calif., shot 151 for two days of stroke play qualifying. He missed advancing
to match play by five strokes.
Hank Kim, of Jonesboro, Ga., took medalist honors with a 132 total,
bolstered by a first round, record-tying score of 64. Woods advanced safely
The USGA accepted 5,128 entries for the Amateur, the third year in a
row entries have topped 5,000.