Clemson golfer wins U.S. Amateur title
Clemson, S.C. — Clemson sophomore Doc Redman won the final three holes with an eagle and two birdies, and defeated University of Texas senior Doug Ghim in 37 holes on Sunday to win the 117th United States Amateur Championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Redman joins Chris Patton as the only Clemson golfers to win the United States Amateur. Patton won the title in 1989 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Patton’s son Colby will be one of Redman’s freshman teammates on the Clemson team this year.
Redman was two-down to Ghim with two holes to play. But on the 17th hole, the 35th hole of the match, Redman rolled in a 50-foot eagle putt to cut the margin to one-down. He then hit his second shot on the 18th hole to seven feet right of the cup and made that putt for birdie to square the match. It was the third consecutive match that Redman won the 18th hole to either win the match or send it to extra holes.
The match then returned to the 10th hole for the third time of the day. Redman hit his drive on the 300-yard hole just short of the green. Ghim hooked his drive into the trees on the left and his second shot went into a greenside bunker. With a downhill lie, Ghim hit his third shot into a bunker on the other side of the green. Redman hit his second shot eight feet past the hole. After Ghim missed his putt for bogey he conceded the hole and the match.
It was a remarkable comeback for Redman in the championship match and the entire week. When he finished his second round of the stroke play qualifier at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday with a score of 144, four over par, he was in 91st place. But the conditions at Riviera and Bel-Air Country Club became more challenging and 34 players dropped below Redman, allowing him to tie for 57th at the end of the day.
Redman came back Wednesday morning for a 13-man playoff for eight spots. The freshman All-American made a par on the 10th hole, the same hole he clinched the match with on Sunday, to advance to match play as the No. 62 seed. He then won six consecutive matches to capture the championship.
As the No. 62 seed, Redman is the second highest seeded player to win the US Amateur since the seeding process began in 1985. Steven Fox was the No. 63 seed when he won the championship in 2012. Redman, Fox and Edwardo Molinaro (2005) are the only U.S. Amateur Champions to reach match play through a playoff.
Redman held a 1-up advantage after the morning 18 holes. Both players were on their game in that Redman shot a 66 on the opening 18 and Ghim had a 67. Redman had a streak of 12 consecutive one-putt greens in the morning, including all nine holes on the back nine.
Redman took a 2-up lead with a birdie on the 20th hole, the second hole on the course. But that was the last hole he won until the 35th. Ghim was masterful in every aspect of the game, especially putting, and he won four holes, including the 34th, to take a two-up lead with three to play. That is when Redman started his streak of three consecutive holes with eagle or birdie to win the match.
“This was a gutsy performance and about not giving up,” said Redman after the match. “It was a terrific match. Doug played great. It just shows hard work pays off. This is a championship for everyone who has helped me.”
After the conclusion of the match, Redman was announced as one of the 10 members of the United States Walker Cup team that will compete against a team from Great Britain and Ireland back in Los Angeles September 9-10. Redman is the first Clemson golfer to make the Walker Cup team since Kyle Stanley in 2007.
“I could not be more proud of Doc,” said Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley, who also coached Patton in 1989. “Doc is a mathematician, which means he never gets ahead of himself. He follows a process and that really helped him, especially when he got behind. He just stayed the course.”
Redman’s March to US Amateur Championship
d. #3 Logan Lowe, Grass Valley, Calif (George Washington), 4&3
d. #35 Walker Lee, Houston, Tex. (Texas A&M), 1-up
d. #46 John Oda, Honolulu, Ha. (UNLV), 2 & 1
d. #38 Travis Smyth, Australia, 1-up
d. #7 Mark Lawrence, Jr., Richmond, Va. (Virginia Tech), 1-up
d. #9 Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights, Ill, (Texas), 37 holes