Georgia Tech senior erases an early 5-down deficit and joins his late grandfather Frank Strafaci, the 1935 U.S. Amateur Public Links winner, as USGA champions
1 up: Winning score for Tyler Strafaci of Davie, Fla., who defeated Charles “Ollie” Osborne of Reno, Nev., on Sunday evening to win the U.S. Amateur Championship in Bandon, Ore. Strafaci (pronounced struh-FOTCH-ee) joined his late grandfather Frank Strafaci, the 1935 U.S. Amateur Public Links winner, as a USGA champion. Strafaci, 22, a fifth-year senior at Georgia Tech, made a two-putt birdie on the final hole at Bandon Dunes, the par-5 18th, to seal the victory. Strafaci also will follow Andy Ogletree, the 2019 U.S. Amateur champion, in bringing the Havemeyer Trophy to the Atlanta campus for a second consecutive year. Another Georgia Tech alumnus, the late Bobby Jones, won the U.S. Amateur five times: in 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928 and 1930. The scheduled 36-hole final featured some huge momentum swings. Osborne, 20, a junior at Southern Methodist, built a 5-up lead through 12 holes of the morning round before Strafaci rebounded to trim the deficit to 1 down entering the afternoon round. Strafaci made eagle at the drivable par-4 14th and won the next hole with a par to go 2 up with three to play. However, Osborne made consecutive birdies to square the match heading to the final hole. Both players busted drives down the middle of the 566-yard hole, from where Strafaci hit a 4-iron hole high, about 18 feet away, but Osborne missed the green right. Strafaci made a routine two-putt before Osborne failed to get up and down to match the birdie (scores). Osborne was seeking to become the fifth U.S. Amateur winner from SMU, with Hank Kuehne (1998), Colt Knost (2007), Kelly Kraft (2011) and Bryson DeChambeau (2015). Both finalists win exemptions into the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego and likely will receive invitations to the 2021 Masters. Strafaci played in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, where he missed the cut. Strafaci also earned a spot in the 2021 British Open at Royal St. George’s in England, provided that he remains an amateur.
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