After a five-day marathon that included 36 holes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Austin Greaser took the lead over Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira as the Western Amateur champion.
Greaser has played a lot of golf in the West over the past two summers, losing to eventual champion Michael Thorbjornsen in last year’s semifinals. This time, there’s no denying the tar heels.
Fernandez de Oliveira got off to a strong start, hitting 2s on three holes after hitting the third hole from a greenside bunker.
The Razorback is still 2 to 11, but that’s when everything starts to go in the Greaser direction.
Greeser won four holes in a row, starting with a long birdie putt behind the 12th green.
Another birdie putt fell on the 13th, and then Fernandez de Oliveira conceded birdie putts to Greeser on the 14th and 15th holes after getting stuck.
After halving the ball at par on the 16th hole, the two players hit the ball within 10 feet of the par-4 17th hole.
Grieser was right on the perimeter of Fernandez de Oliveira and gave himself a putt over 5 feet to win the game. The putter caught the lip but didn’t fall, and Fernandez de Oliveira used the advantage to drag the game to the 18th hole.
Both players found the fairway on the 18th hole, but after Fernandez de Oliveira hit within 12 feet, Grieser went far on the green and saw his ball fall deep. in the grass. He then hit a brilliant chip to keep himself just a few feet short of par, which required Fernandez de Oliveira to put his birdie putt in to extend the game.
The putt didn’t fall into the Razorback, and Greaser cleared his par to win the 120th Western Amateur.