Men's Golfer Chez Reavie Wins Public Links Final
July 14, 2001
San Antonio, Texas - Chez Reavie, 19, Mesa, Ariz., outlasted Walker Cup player Danny Green, 44, Jackson, Tenn., to win the United States Amateur Public Links Championship, the first United States Golf Association championship he has ever played in.
Reavie defeated Green on the 38th hole of a grueling final match at the 7,005-yard, par 71 Pecan Valley Golf Club when he made a par to Green's bogey.
With the victory, Reavie won the national championship trophy and an invitation to the 2002 Masters.
He becomes just the third Sun Devil to win the championships, as Billy Mayfair won the title in 1986 and John Jackson won it in 1969. With the win, Sun Devils now hold arguable the top two trophies in amateur golf, as Jeff Quinney is the current U.S. Amateur champion.
'When I won I thought, `Wow, it's over. I did it.' My caddie hugged me and I thought, `Wow, I'm going to Augusta,'' Reavie said.
The experience of the veteran Green, who won the 1999 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, gave him a strategic edge over Reavie but hot weather worked against him. Temperatures hovered in the upper 90s.
'On the 22nd and 23rd holes I hit a wall,' Green admitted. 'I didn't have any strength in my arms and legs.'
Green, who had been 2 up after the first 18 holes, lost the 20th hole to Reavie's par. At the 24th hole, he parred but Reavie birdied to square the match. Reavie went ahead at the 28th hole with a birdie, then bogeyed the 30th hole while Green made a par and the match was again square.
Green rallied and birdied two of the next three holes. His birdie at the 32nd hole put him 1 up. The two halved the 33rd hole with pars. Green holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 34th hole, raised his fist and exclaimed, 'Bam.' Reavie faced a 12-foot birdie putt of his own.
'When he said, `Bam,'' said Reavie, 'I thought, 'He's really going to hate me when I knock this in.''
Reavie made the birdie putt and Green was still just 1-up.
'I birdied the 32nd hole, parred the 33rd and birdied the 34th and thought I had everything in control, then I lost the drive at the 35th,' Green said.
His tee shot at the 35th bounced out of bounds and Reavie won the hole to again square the match. At the 36th, a 447-yard par-4, both players hit heroic approach shots to the flagstick, which was perched on the back of the elevated green.
Hitting first, Green hit a 4-wood shot just 14 feet past the hole. Reavie followed with a 3-iron shot, up the hill to within seven feet of the hole. Green missed and Reavie had a putt to win the match.
'When I was standing behind the ball, it hit me that maybe I'm going to Augusta,' said Reavie. 'I was really nervous. I pulled the putt and missed it high.'
On the 37th hole, Green had a chance to win the championship when he hit his approach shot to within 3 ï¿½ feet of the hole. Reavie made a par, sinking a four-footer on his second putt. Then Green missed his best opportunity.
'I would have made that putt 99 out of 100 times,' said Green.
At the 38th hole, Green drove into the rough, hit his second shot into a bunker and made a bogey. Reavie hit his second shot on the green to within 12 feet of the hole, then got down in two putts to win the hole, the match and the championship.
'Playing in next year's Masters hasn't sunk in yet,' said Reavie. 'But I'm really excited. Tonight I'll think about it.'
The Amateur Public Links is one of 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association, of which ten are strictly for amateurs.