GOLF / U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR : Woods Wins a Record Third Title
Tiger Woods won his third U.S. Junior Golf Championship in dramatic fashion Saturday, rallying on the last two holes of the final to beat Ryan Armour 1-up in 19 holes.
Woods, 17, of Cypress, was two down with two holes to play after missing a short putt on the 16th hole. Woods made clutch birdie putts on Nos. 17 and 18 to pull even, then made a four-foot par putt on the first extra hole, the par-four, 333-yard No. 1, to win it.
Woods is the first male to win the junior amateur three times.
“The only thing special about it,” Woods said, “was my comeback. I had to play the best two holes of my life--birdie on 17, birdie on 18. I did it.”
Armour, 17, of Silver Lake, Ohio, played solid golf all day, notably with his short game.
“I’m heartbroken,” said Armour, who lost to Woods, 8 and 6, in last year’s quarterfinals.
Woods has won 18 consecutive junior amateur matches and has a 22-1 match-play record in four U.S. Juniors.
Earlier Saturday, Woods beat Torrance resident Ted Oh, 16, a U.S. Open qualifier, 4 and 3. Armour ousted 14-year-old Charles Howell, 4 and 3, in the semifinals.
Armour went 1-up in the final with a 40-foot putt on the 15th hole, then moved two shots ahead when Woods had a four-foot par putt lip out on 16.
“If I parred 17, I thought I’d win this match,” Armour said.
Woods outdrove Armour by about 40 yards on the par-four, 432-yard 17th, then hit a three-iron approach to about seven feet from the pin. Armour’s approach went into a bunker.
On the par-five, 578-yard 18th, Woods outdrove Armour, but his second shot flew into a trap about 40 yards from the pin. Woods hit out to about 10 feet.
With Armour again looking at a tap-in par, Woods sank the putt to force extra holes.
Woods, who had bogeyed the par-four, 333-yard No. 1 in both matches Saturday, hit an iron off the tee and put his second shot about 25 feet from the cup. Armour’s approach was 60 feet away. After both missed birdie putts, Armour missed a seven-footer coming back and Woods won it with a four-footer for par.