John Cook, 20, of Upper Arlington, Ohio, was nine under par in eight
matches as he won the Amateur Championship at the Plainfield Country Club,
Plainfield, N.J. Cook defeated Scott Hoch, of Raleigh, N.C., 5 and 4,
in the scheduled 36-hole final.
Among those he defeated were Doug Clarke, winner of the 1977 Southern
Amateur and 1976 Trans-Miss Championships; Henri De Lozier, a semi-finalist
and quarter-finalist in the 1975 and 1973 Amateurs, respectively; Kalua
Makalena, the Hawaiian Open Champion; and, in a semi-final match, Michael
Peck, the 1977 and 1978 Pacific 8 Champion.
Meanwhile, Hoch breezed through his half of the draw until his semi-final
match with Bob Clampett, whose 1978 accomplishments included victories
in the Porter Cup and Western Amateur, and low amateur in the Open. For
the first time in Amateur history, both semi-final matches were decided
in extra holes.
Cook and Peck played two under par golf for the first 18 holes. Cook
settled the match with a birdie 3 on the second extra hole, a long par
4. Hoch and Clampett were playing even-par golf through the first 18 holes.
Hoch won with a par 4, also at the 20th hole.
In the final, Cook jumped to a quick 2-up lead after two holes. Hoch
stayed close, however, and was one down after the first nine holes, despite
scoring 40 to Cook's 37. Cook responded with 32 on the second nine, including
five birdies, and led 5 up at the lunch break.
Cook won the first three holes of the afternoon round with a par-birdie-birdie
start to take an 8-up lead, the widest margin of the match. Hoch closed
the gap slightly, but could come no closer than 5 down. Cook holed a four-foot
par putt at the 32nd hole to win the Championship. In those 32 holes,
there were 14 birdies-Cook had eight and Hoch six.
Two former Amateur Champions-Marvin Giles, III, (1972) and Fred Ridley
(1975) -were entered. Giles lost in the second round, Ridley in the first
round. Doug Fischesser, the runner-up in the 1977 Amateur, lost in the
fifth round. Jay Sigel, a semi-finalist in the 1977 Amateur, lost in the
fourth round. The field included four members of the 1977 U.S. Walker
Cup Team-Ridley, Sigel, Vance Heafner, who lost in the third round, and
Gary Hallberg, who lost his first match.
Dale Morey, twice the Senior Amateur Champion and runnerup in the 1953
Amateur, lost in the third round. He was competing in his 26th Amateur.
A record for entries was established for the fifth consecutive year. The
3,035 entries exceeded the previous high of 2,950 set in 1977.