July 4, 2009
VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. -
Former champions of the North & South Men's Amateur Championship include Francis Oiumet, Jack Nicklaus, Curtis Strange and Davis Love III, to name a few.
Stanford sophomore David Chung can now add his name next to some of golf's legendary figures who have won this prestigious amateur event after he defeated Wes Bryan, 4-and-3 in today's 36 hole final to win the 109th North and South Men's Amateur Championship at Pinehurst No. 2.
Chung, a native of nearby Fayetteville, N.C., was 1-down after the first 18 holes of play on the 7,342-yard, par 71 Pinehurst No. 2 course. But with a 30-foot putt on the difficult par-4 5th hole for birdie, the tide of the 36-hole final match on Saturday began to turn in his favor.
"I knew I had a really tough match against Wes today," said Chung following play. "You have to hang in there for the first 18, but with the second 18, all that match play raises the level of intensity. It was grueling after three days of 36 holes."
Neither player appeared tired throughout the day, trading birdies and holes throughout the round. The match was all-square through the first 12 holes, when Chung carded back-to-back birdies on holes 13 and 14 to take a 2-up lead. Chung missed a par putt on 15th to lose the hole with a Bryan par, and followed it by a par 5 on the 16th to Bryan's birdie to set the match back to all-square. Bryan nailed a 10-footer on the 18th for birdie, but Chung would hold on to par with a 20-footer to end the morning's play at 1-up.
Although Bryan, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, would card a winning par and birdie on the 21st and 22nd holes to go 3-up, the afternoon holes took a decisive turn with Chung's 20-footer on the 23rd hole to set the match at 2-up, Bryan. Chung would take charge directly following with five birdies in the next 10 holes - the 26th, 28th, 31st, 32nd and 33rd holes. With birdies again on the 13th and 14th holes of Pinehurst No. 2, the short par-3 15th would set Chung for a birdie putt 10 feet from the hole. Bryan flew the green and putted from the back left swale past the hole, rolling to the front side of the green. Bryan would land within 4 feet of the hole on his 3rd shot, but Chung sunk his final birdie of the day to settle the match at 4-and-3.
"It means so much to me to win at Pinehurst," said Chung. "It is very special and very important, especially in living 40 miles from here. I've played this course a lot, I came here for the Opens and had a system in playing these greens. I practiced a lot of putting off the greens."