Uihlein defeats Chung in US Am Final
BY Anthony Powter | US Mens Amateur Tour | 2010 US Amateur Championship | Grand Final | 30 Aug 2010
The world’s top-ranked amateur Peter Uihlein has defeated David Chung, 4&2, in the final of the 110th US Amateur Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington.
After the pair halved the first hole of the 36-hole final, Uihlein birdied the par-4 2nd and from there never relinquished the lead over Chung, who came into the final with a 2-1 winning advantage over Uihlein in previous match-play encounters.
Today’s final was certainly between the current two “heavyweights” of amateur golf.
Uihlein has won three college events during the 2009-10 season, including the NCAA Southeast Regional. He was a member of the victorious US Walker Cup team in 2009 and earlier this summer won the Sahalee Players Championship.
Uihlein was the first in today’s final to make a move and it would prove critical as Chung is considered an expert exponent of match-play and renowned fighter when found in the breech and facing adversity.
“I got off to a good start and was a couple up after the first eighteen,” said Uihlein, who was 2-up against Chung going into the afternoon’s match.
“When we were at the 4-up mark with the back nine left, I knew David was going to do something and he did. You know he’s going to and you just have to be ready for it.”
Chung made birdie on the 11th to regain some momentum after winning the 10th to be only 2-down, yet missing a shortish putt on 12 cost him dearly and he knew it.
“I said to myself, ’If I can make a couple of putts here I could get something started’,” said Chung after the match.
“I almost all the time put myself in a hole and I somehow bring myself out of it. Two down with seven holes to go is nothing. But I just couldn’t – I couldn’t drop the putts when I needed to today. Bottom line, I had my chances to turn the match around and get some shots back. I just couldn’t take advantage of them.”
Chung’s misfortune with the flat stick became Uihlein’s fortune and he took full advantage of the opening.
“I didn’t think he would miss that putt on 12 and I feel like I stole one there,” said Uihlein.
“I just wanted to kind of keep telling myself that he was three down after nine against Benny [An] and came back and won. I felt like when he messed up on 12, that was big because I felt like 13 and 14 kind of played more into my hands.”
Uihlein went onto win these two holes, his massive length from the tee providing the advantage throughout the final.
“There were four holes out there that were 500 yards plus,” says Uihlein about the Chambers Bay layout.
“7700 yards is not a walk in the park by any means. It’s long. You’ve got to hit it long. Definitely the length held and coming in with shorter irons and stepping the balls on the green was a big advantage.”
Along with the spoils, the 21-year-old Uihlein is exempt into the first three majors of 2010, provided he remains an amateur, as well as the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Heritage and Memorial.
“It’s pretty sweet,” says Uihlein about his win.
“Chambers, I felt set up great for my game, and I got lucky in a couple of my matches. But that is match-play. You’ve got to get lucky.”
Winning the US Amateur Championship is just rewards for the talented Uihlein and the Oklahoma State player knows the win is a reflection of years of dedication and hard work, including what those close to him at Karsten Creek in Stillwater have done with his game.
“You just got to keep working at it and keep trying to get better,” he says.
“All the guys out there [Karsten Creek Golf Club] help me earn this, so I definitely want to keep it out there with them.”