Gary Cowan, 32, of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, made an eagle 2 on the
last hole to score 280 and win by three strokes over Eddie Pearce, of
Temple Terrace, Fla., over the South Course of the Wilmington Country
Club, Wilmington, Del. It was the second Amateur Championship for Cowan,
who had won in 1966.
Marvin Giles, III, of Richmond, was third with 284; his record then
for a five-year period was three second-place finishes, one third and
one sixth. Giles scored 68-69-137 for the last 36 holes, breaking his
own record of 138 set in 1968.
Cowan was tied with James McLean, of Seattle, after 13 holes of the
final round, then played the last five holes in three under par to win.
He was one stroke ahead of Pearce with one hole to play, hit his drive
into deep rough on the 18th and was in danger of making a 5 on the par
4 hole. Then he hit a 9-iron shot into the hole for the eagle.
Martin West, of Chevy Chase, Md., led the first round with 67, equaling
the record for the lowest first round score. Pearce and McLean each shot
67 in the second round and shared the 36-hole lead at 139. Cowan went
ahead with 69 in the third round giving him 210 for 54 holes. Cowan is
the first player to have won the Amateur twice at stroke play.
Lanny Wadkins, the 1970 Champion, and Steve Melnyk, the 1969 Champion,
became professionals during 1971 and were not eligible to play. The entry
was 2,327, a record.