BANDON, Ore. Tyler Strafaci won the U.S. Amateur on Sunday at foggy Bandon Dunes, overcoming a big early deficit and surviving another tight finish to beat Charles Ollie Osborne 1-up.
With father Frank Jr. at his side as a caddie, Strafaci two-putted for birdie with the short second conceded on the par-4 36th hole before Osborne’s 8-footer to halve and extend the match went by the right side of the cup.
Strafaci, the rising Georgia Tech senior from Davie, Florida, earned spots next year on the U.S. Walker Cup team and in the British Open after both finalists got spots next year in the Masters and U.S. Open.
Strafaci joined grandfather Frank Strafaci, the 1935 U.S. Amateur Public winner, as a USGA champion. He became the second straight Georgia Tech winner and fourth overall, following Andy Ogletree last year at Pinehurst. Bobby Jones won the Havemeyer Trophy in 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930, and Matt Kuchar in 1997.
Osborne, from Reno, Nevada, will be a junior at SMU. He also had his father, Steve, alongside as a caddie.
Five holes down after 12 holes, Strafaci won four of the next five holes to cut the deficit to one going into the afternoon round. He finally caught Osborne with a birdie win on the par-3 20th and took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 25th.
Strafaci squandered a chance to double the advantage on the 28th when he missed a 1 1/2-foot birdie putt. They halved the par-3 30th with birdies, with Strafaci making a 20-footer after Osborne nearly holed his tee shot.
Osborne tied it with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 31st, his first hole win since the 12th. Strafaci struck back on the par-4 32nd, driving the green and making a 6-foot eagle putt after Osborne rolled in a 30-footer for birdie.
Strafaci took the par-3 33rd with a birdie, but Osborne countered with a birdie win on the par-4 34th and took the par-4 35th on a concession after Strafaci hit his approach into trouble short and right of the green.
Starfaci went the distance for the fourth straight round. On Thursday afternoon in the round of 16, he won the 18th and his match against Segundo Oliva Pinto when Oliva Pintos caddie, Bandon local Brant Brewer, cost the Argentine a hole penalty for touching the surface of a greenside bunker.
On Friday in the quarterfinals, Starfaci halved the 18th with Stewart Hagestad after taking the lead on 17. On Saturday in the semifinals, Strafaci lost a four-hole lead, then won the 18th to edge Aman Gupta.
In July, Strafaci won the North & South Amateur and Palmetto Amateur in consecutive weeks. The 22-year-old Strafaci entered the week ranked 56th in the world. Osborne, 20, was 460th.
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