Jerome K. (Jerry) Pate
In the second year after it was changed back to match play, the Amateur
Championship was won by Jerome K. (Jerry) Pate, of Pensacola, 20, a student
at the University of Alabama. Pate defeated John R. Grace, of Fort Worth,
Texas, 2 and 1, in the 36-hole final round at the Ridgewood Country Club,
Among others, Pate defeated Ed Tutwiler, of Indianapolis, Ind., 1964
runnerup who was playing in his 16th Amateur; Bill Campbell, 51, of Huntington,
West Virginia, 1964 Champion playing in his 31st; George Burns, III, of
Port Washington, N.Y., a 25-year old softdrink salesman who had won two
important tournaments in 1974; and Curtis Strange, 19, Virginia Beach,
Va., the National Collegiate Athletic Association Champion from Wake Forest.
Pate defeated Campbell, 4 and 2, in the quarter-final round. He was 2
down after seven holes and won six of the next nine. He defeated Strange,
2 and 1, in the semi-final round.
Grace, a real estate salesman, had an easier time than Pate in reaching
the final round. He won his first three matches by 4 and 3, 6 and 5, and
6 and 4. He was never down until the fifth hole of the fourth round when
Bill Harvey, of Greensboro, N. C., scored a birdie and went 1 up. Grace
won the match, 5 and 3, and then shot 31 on the first nine against Brian
Willard, of Silver Spring, Md., and won, 6 and 5. Grace won his semi-final
match, 3 and 1, from Gary Koch of Temple Terrace, Fla.
In the final round Pate hit his first tee shot out of bounds and Grace
quickly went one up. By the end of eight holes, however, Pate was two
up after a couple of birdies and a loosely played hole by Grace. Beginning
with the 12th hole, Grace won three of the next four with a pair of birdies
and two pars, to go ahead by one, and then Pate drew even with a birdie
on the 16th. The 17th was halved, then Grace went 1 up with a par four
on the 18th where Pate again hit a wild drive.
Grace began the final 18 by scoring birdies on the first two holes and
taking a lead of 3 up. Pate cut the lead to 1 up after eight, and the
final nine began with Grace 1 up. Grace birdied the 10th to assume a 2
up lead once more. Pate, however, met the challenge, winning the 11th
and once again was 1 down. Pate settled the Championship by winning three
consecutive holes-the 14th with a par, the 15th and 16th with birdies.
He was then 2 up with two to play. The match ended when they halved the
17th in par 5s.
The Championship was memorable for several reasons. Pate won the first
time he qualified; Campbell went to the quarter-final round after reaching
the semi-final round in 1973, and won two extra-hole matches, one of 25
holes; the entry reached 2,420, a new record. Craig Stadler, the 1973
Champion, was eliminated in the first round.