2001: Reavie earns Masters date at Publinks

San Antonio

Chez Reavie plans to spend a lot of time over the next eight months talking with Jeff Quinney, his teammate at Arizona State last season.

The subject matter will be the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club.

Quinney, who was a senior at ASU last season, played in this year’s Masters as reigning U.S. Amateur champion.

Reavie, who will be a Sun Devil sophomore, will pick Quinney’s brain to find out as much as he can about the tournament, the week and the course.

Reavie, who tied for fourth at this year’s NCAA Championship and was an honorable mention All-American, will be teeing it up in the Masters.

Reavie earned his invitation to Augusta when he sank a 2-foot par putt on the 38th hole of the 36-hole final July 14 and defeated veteran Danny Green to win the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Pecan Valley Golf Club.

“When that 2-footer went in I was in shock,” Reavie said. “My first reaction was, ‘Wow, it’s over.’ Then my caddie (longtime friend Brian Herring) came over and hugged me and I’m like ‘Wow, I’m going to the Masters.’ I’m still in a daze.”

In addition to an invitation to the Masters, Reavie earned a gold medal and possession of the James D. Standish Jr. Cup for one year.

Reavie became the third player from Arizona State to capture the Publinks title, joining Billy Mayfair (1986) and John Jackson Jr. (1969).

The final was a classic matchup between the young (Reavie, 19) and the old (Green, 44) and between two competitors who refused to relent to near-100 degree temperature.

It was the veteran Green, the first player ever to advance to the finals of a U.S. Amateur (1989), U.S. Mid-Amateur (1999, which he won) and U.S. Amateur Public Links, against the rookie Reavie, who was playing in his first-ever USGA event.

Both put forth gutty performances from start to finish, especially Green down the stretch when it was obvious fatigue from the heat and a third consecutive day of 36 holes were taking a toll.

After losing three of the first four holes in the morning round, Green, already named to this year’s Walker Cup team and considered on of the top amateurs and match-play players in the country, surged back and was 2 up at the break.

Reavie got one back with a par on the second hole and then squared the match with a birdie on the par-5 sixth. Green went back up with a par on No. 7, but Reavie birdied eight and the two made the final turn all square.

Reavie then took his first lead since the 12th hole of the morning round when he birdied the 10th hole but Green won 12 with a par and went back on top with a birdie at 14.

At the par-3 16th, Green nailed a 27-footer for birdie and it appeared he might go 2 up with two holes to play. When the ball dropped he pumped his fist and yelled “Bam!”

But Reavie still had a 12-footer for birdie and later said he felt very confident about making the putt.

“Then when he said ‘Bam,’ I said to myself, ‘He’s going to hate me when I make this.’ ”

Reavie got a break at No. 17 when Green pushed his tee shot out of bounds, about 10 inches outside the white stakes.

With the match at all square going to the final hole, Green hit his approach shot to 14 feet. But Reavie answered by putting his approach to 8 feet.

After Green missed his birdie putt, it was Reavie’s turn.“I stood over that putt and my hands were shaking so bad I thought the putter was going to fall,” Reavie said. “All I could think about was if I made the putt I was going to Augusta.”

He pulled it to the left and the two went to the first hole to start again.

There Green seemed to have it won when his approach landed 3 1/2 feet above the hole. After Reavie made his 4-footer for par, Green missed.

“I just dogged that putt,” Green said. “I got caught up between hitting it firm or rolling it to the hole. I pulled it. It was just a bad putt.”

Then Green hit his tee shot on No. 2 (38th hole) into a fairway bunker, left his next shot short and in the high rough, and chipped to 12 feet, about the same distance Reavie had after hitting his approach shot from the fairway from 186 yards.

When Green missed his par putt, Reavie had two putts to win. He left his first about 2 feet short, but confidently ran the next into the back of the cup.

“I surprised myself by not handling the pressure like I know I can,” Green said. “I had (the match) in hand at 17 and let it get away, and I had it in hand at the first playoff hole. That putt I’ll make 100 times.”

Reavie’s parents Van and Dawn flew in the night before – as did Green’s wife Dawn – for the 36-hole final. The Reavies flew to Austin, Texas, where Reavie’s grandmother lives and the three drove down to San Antonio.

“I’m just so proud right now I’m bursting at the seams,” said Van, an airline pilot for America West. “All the time, all the hard work, this is what makes it all worthwhile. This match couldn’t have been more exciting. This is what makes golf so wonderful.”

That and the fact that the Reavie clan will be heading to Augusta, Ga., in early April.

“Of course, that’s the same time our (Arizona State) team is playing in a tournament in Mexico,” Reavie said.

As soon as he spoke the words, the teen-ager broke into a massive smile. There was no question where he would be fullfilling his dream next spring.

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