Noah Good­win ral­lies to win US Ju­nior Ama­teur

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Noah Good­win ral­lied to beat Matthew Wolff 1 up in 100-de­gree heat Satur­day in the US Ju­nior Ama­teur fi­nal to be­come the third player to win a year af­ter los­ing the ti­tle match. The 17-year-old Good­win, from Corinth, Texas, was four holes down with eight to play at Flint Hills Na­tional be­fore pulling off the sec­ond-big­gest come­back in tour­na­ment his­tory. “It’s ev­ery ju­nior’s dream to win the U.S. Ju­nior,” Good­win said. “It’s the most pres­ti­gious ju­nior event in the en­tire world. Ev­ery­body knows about it, and to add my name among the greats like Jor­dan Spi­eth and Tiger Woods just means ev­ery­thing to me.”

Good­win works with Spi­eth’s in­struc­tor, Cameron McCormick, and the noted teacher was quick to send his pupil a con­grat­u­la­tory text mes­sage. “That just means a lot,” Good­win said. “He’s done so much for my game. I can’t re­ally ex­press my grat­i­tude for Cameron. I wouldn’t be where I am with­out him.”

The match ended when Wolff con­ceded Good­win’s 6-foot birdie putt on the par-5 36th. Wolff drove left into the wa­ter haz­ard and was fac­ing a putt for dou­ble bo­gey. Good­win plans to grad­u­ate from high school early and en­roll at SMU in Jan­uary. The 18-year-old Wolff, from Agoura Hills, Cal­i­for­nia, will be a fresh­man at Ok­la­homa State.

“It’s tough to come out on the bot­tom, but I played great all week,” Wolff said. Good­win dropped 4 down when Wolff took the par-3 28th with a birdie. Good­win won the par-5 29th with a 35foot birdie putt and took the par-4 30th, par-3 32nd and par-4 33rd with pars to pull even. The only larger come­back came two years ago when Phillip Bar­ba­ree edged An­drew Orischak in 37 holes at Col­leton River Plan­ta­tion Club af­ter trail­ing by five holes with eight to play. Andy Hyeon Bo Shim, in 2012 at The Golf Club of New Eng­land, also ral­lied from 5 down at the start of the af­ter­noon 18 in beat­ing Jim Liu, 4 and 3. The USGA length­ened the fi­nal from 18 holes to 36 in 2005.

Last year, Good­win fell 2 and 1 to Aus­tralia’s Min Woo Lee at The Hon­ors Course in Ten­nessee. Ma­son Ru­dolph (1950) and Tim Straub (1983) also won a year af­ter fall­ing in the ti­tle match. “It’s a feel­ing that I’m still kind of try­ing to grasp,” Good­win said.

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