Doc Redman wins U.S. Amateur in playoff with stunning late comeback

USGA/Chris Keane

Doc Redman wins U.S. Amateur in playoff with stunning late comeback

Amateur

Doc Redman wins U.S. Amateur in playoff with stunning late comeback

LOS ANGELES – With a late comeback that will go down in tournament lore, Doc Redman secured the U.S. Amateur title.

Redman, 19, defeated Doug Ghim in 37 holes in Sunday’s final, winning on the first playoff hole (Riviera Country Club’s par-4 10th) to take the title.

Redman needed to get through a 13-for-8 playoff just to reach match play, and now he’s the champion. He’s the first champion to win in extra holes since 2012 (when Steven Fox prevailed).

“You never know what can happen,” Redman said.

The Clemson sophomore continues a strong summer with this victory but gets a bit of redemption. Redman finished runner-up in his last event, the Western Amateur, after losing the final to Norman Xiong on the fourth extra hole.

As the U.S. Amateur winner, Redman receives the Havemeyer Trophy for one year and the champion’s gold medal. Also going to Redman: exemptions into the 2018 U.S. Open, 2018 British Open, 2018 Masters, and the next 10 U.S. Amateurs. Thanks to his runner-up showing, Ghim, 21, will also play in next year’s U.S. Open and Masters. (Note: the Masters invitation is likely but not a written exemption.)

This is the second USGA final in four years where Ghim, a Texas senior, was 1 up through 35 holes, and lost – doing so as well in a defeat to Byron Meth at the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links.

In this final, Redman led 1 up after the first 18 holes which were tightly contested (15 holes were halved) and filled with plenty of clutch putts.

Ghim won the first hole with bogey and kept that 1-up lead for nine holes as he and Redman combined to make four birdies and no bogeys from Nos. 2 to 10. But on the par-5 11th hole, Ghim hooked his drive up against one of Riviera’s tall driving-range poles and eventually conceded birdie to Redman.

Redman took a 1-up lead of his own two holes later with a 50-foot birdie make at the par-4 13th hole. He had a chance to grow his lead at Nos. 14 and 15, but Ghim made clutch putts from distance to halve those holes and remain 1 down. Ghim’s long par save, from about 30 feet, at the par-3 14th prompted a “Hey, baby!” from Jeff Ghim.

At the par-3 16th, it was Redman making a lengthy par putt to halve a hole. Two holes later, Redman and Ghim each birdied the par-4 18th for their fifth and fourth birdies of the back nine, respectively.

In the afternoon 18, Redman took a 2-up lead with a birdie at the 20th hole. But it seemed the match would turn after that.

Ghim took the 22nd with a par and was still 1 down in the match when the pair reached the 29th. Ghim birdied that par 5 to square the match. He proceeded to win the 31st with a par to take back the lead.

Ghim went dormie-2 with a par at the 34th, and seemed in control. Then, the stunning finish.

Ghim faced a 7-footer for birdie at the 35th, yet would never putt it as Redman buried a stunning 50-foot right-to-left snake for eagle to send the match to the 36th.

At that final hole of regulation, Ghim hit his second shot short of the green while Redman knocked his to 9 feet for birdie.

Ghim chipped up to 2 feet, and Redman had a chance to win the hole and force a playoff. Redman’s putt found the center of the hole to send this one to extras.

On that first playoff hole, Redman drove it right in front of the par-4 green, while Ghim drove wild to the left. Ghim, faced with a horrible lie from the rough, hacked out into the right greenside bunker.

Redman hit his chip inside 10 feet for birdie. From a bunker downslope, Ghim hit his third shot over the green into another bunker, and his fourth from there went some 12 feet by the hole.

When Ghim missed his bogey putt, he conceded the hole and championship to Redman.

Redman becomes the first Clemson player since Chris Patton in 1989 to win the U.S. Amateur.

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