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Woods Repeats as U.S. Amateur Champion

The Associated Press

August 28, 1995

Tiger Woods yesterday became the first U.S. Amateur champion in 12 years to retain his title, ensuring his victory with a fairway shot on the final hole that stopped 16 inches from the cup in Newport, R.I.

Woods, a 19-year-old Stanford University sophomore who last year became the youngest player to win the championship, defeated 43-year-old George "Buddy" Marucci, a former University of Maryland player, 2-up in the 36-hole final match.

Senior PGA Tour player Jay Sigel, a frequent playing partner of Marucci's in their home town of Berwyn, Pa., was the last repeat winner -- in 1982 and 1983.

Woods and Marucci were among five players selected to the U.S. Walker Cup team. Marucci is the oldest of 10 American players who will face a team of British and Irish amateurs Sept. 9-10 at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Porthcawl, Wales.

One-up heading to the par-4 final hole at Newport Country Club, Woods lofted his second shot from the middle of the fairway and watched it spin back to the pin. Woods pumped his fist as he walked up to the green.

"I spent hours and hours on the range and it paid off on the 18th hole," said Woods. "It's nice to see that hard work pays off."

He never had to make the putt, though. When Marucci missed a 20-foot birdie putt, he conceded the hole and title to Woods.

"I'd be pretty arrogant if I said I wasn't thrilled" with making the final, Marucci said. "I don't think it'll ever be the one that got away. . . . I can live with losing to Tiger."

The victory gave Woods, from Cypress, Calif., his fifth national title in the past five years. He was the U.S. Junior champion in 1991, '92 and '93 and now has a 36-3 record in U.S. Golf Association match play.

While the victory was not as dramatic as Woods's 1994 final match comeback from 6-down, he struggled to shake Marucci, who stayed close with smart, conservative play and a strong short game.

Woods did not take the lead for good until the 30th hole and trailed Marucci, a four-time Pennsylvania amateur champion, for 15 of the first 27 holes.

The tide turned on the 30th hole, played on the par-4 12th, when Woods made the green in two and parred the hole. Marucci drove into the rough on the right and reached the green with his third shot.

Marucci missed a 13-foot par putt to halve the hole, giving Woods a lead he never surrendered.

After both men parred the 31st and 32nd holes, Woods reached the green on the par-4 33rd hole in two shots, then sunk a nine-foot birdie putt to go 2-up when Marucci missed a 12-footer for birdie.

The players halved the 34th hole, and Marucci staved off elimination by parring the par-4 35th hole.

© 1995 The Associated Press

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