Aug. 29, 2010
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -
Courtesy of USGA
Peter Uihlein of Orlando, Fla., celebrated his 21st birthday by defeating David Chung of Fayetteville, N.C., 4 and 2, Sunday in the final match of the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship at 7,742-yard, par-71 Chambers Bay.
"It's definitely the best birthday present I've ever had in my life," Uihlein said. "It's pretty sweet. To add my name to that list on the trophy is pretty special."
Uihlein, a member of the winning 2009 USA Walker Cup Team, was the equivalent of eight under par with the usual match-play concessions through the match's 34 holes. Chung was two under par.
"I got off to a good start," said Uihlein, a junior at Oklahoma State University. "But even when I was a couple up early, I knew there was a lot of golf left. I knew he was going to make a run eventually."
Uihlein was 3 up through the first five holes and finished the morning 18 with a 2-up lead. He countered a winning birdie by Chung on the par-3 17th with a chip-in eagle from 40 feet on 18 to regain his 2-up edge.
Uihlein, who won the Sahalee Players Championship in the Seattle area earlier this summer, increased his margin to 4 up through 26 holes with a birdie on the par-5 eighth, despite a holed shot from 118 yards by Chung, which saved par.
Chung, who won the 2010 Western Amateur and Porter Cup, and overcame a 3-hole deficit in the semifinals to defeat defending champion Byeong-Hun An, had been impressive in match-play comebacks throughout the championship.
"I almost all the time put myself in a hole and I somehow bring myself out of it," said Chung, 20, a junior at Stanford University.
"I didn't want to get ahead of myself," Uihlein said. "I knew he was going to make a run. You know he's going to, you just have to be ready."
As expected by Uihlein, Chung reduced his deficit to just 2 down, winning two consecutive holes with a par on the 10th hole and a birdie at the par-4 11th in the afternoon 18.
On 12, both players drove the green. Uihlein's eagle putt from 20 feet slid by the hole leaving Chung the chance to win the hole from 12 feet. However, he could not convert.
"If I made that putt on 12 for eagle, I think I could have made a run at it," said Chung, who has known Uihlein since the beginning of their competitive junior golf careers. "I would have had a huge momentum swing there. I was counting on that putt. I read it and I thought I hit a good putt, but it broke a lot more. It just wasn't my time to make it."
Uihlein received custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the ensuing year. Both Uihline and Chung received exemptions into the 2011 U.S. Open and are likely to receive an invitation to the 2011 Masters Tournament. Uihlein also received an invitation to the 2011 British Open.
The U.S. Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, which include the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open and 10 strictly for amateurs.