David Gossett, 20, of Germantown, Tenn., won six of the first nine holes
on his way to defeating 17-year-old Sung Yoon Kim of Seoul, South Korea,
9 and 8, in the 36-hole championship final of the U.S. Amateur at Pebble
Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.
"It's been a beautiful week here," said Gossett. "I've worked hard, and
it has paid off. This was just my time to win and I'm enjoying it." Gossett
shot the equivalent of two-under-par and made seven birdies through 28
holes while Kim was off his game and was 12 over par.
Gossett closed the match when the two players halved the 28th hole with
par 4s. It was the biggest margin of victory since 1980 when Hal Sutton
defeated Bob Lewis by same score.
A sophomore at the University of Texas who was the NCAA Freshman of the
Year, Gossett was 5 up after the morning round. He won the first two holes
of the afternoon, and held his biggest advantage at 9-up after winning
the 26th (8th) hole with a birdie 3. He lost only four holes during the
match to Kim, who was vying to become the youngest ever Amateur champion
at 11/z years younger than Tiger Woods, who was 18 when he won in 1994.
With Tom Lehman's regular caddie Andy Martinez on his bag for the week,
Gossett won holes 3 and 4 with pars and then had winning birdies on holes
6 through 8 before taking the 9th with another par. He was the equivalent
of even-par 71 for his morning round, while Kim struggled. Kim didn't
hit a green in regulation until the 10th, and finished his morning at
Gossett's only troubles came when he shot 80 over Pebble Beach for the
first day of stroke play. He shot 1 under-par at Spyglass Hill Golf Club
the next day. "I'm very happy I was able to hang in there after a rough
start this week," said Gossett, who barely made the cut to match play
by one stroke at 152 after 36 holes of stroke play.
Gossett played well the rest of the week. He never trailed in any of
his six matches after the seventh hole, and only was forced to play the
18th hole once.
Gossett joins Justin Leonard (1992) as Texas golfers who have won the
Amateur in the 1990s. Gossett was playing in his second Amateur. He qualified
in 1997, at age 18, but missed the cut to match play. He failed to qualify