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Meredith Duncan, 21, Schreveport, La., made a two-foot birdie putt
on the 37th hole to defeat Nicole Perrot, 17, Santiago, Chile, and
win the 101st United States Women's Amateur Championship at the
6,242-yard, par 71 Flint Hills National Golf club.
It was a match that vereran observers called the greatest final
in the history of the United States Golf Association championships,
a punch and counter-punch contest that inspired cheers from a gallery
of some 2,500 spectators.
With the usual match play concessions, and they were few, Duncan
and Perrot made 10 birdies each. Duncan had 18 one-putt greens,
Perrot had 16. Duncan fired rounds of 65-72 for the 36 holes, and
birdies the 37th. Perrot fired rounds of 71-67, and parred the 37th
- a par that cost her the United States Women's Amateur title one
week after she won the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.
On the stregth of eight birdies, Duncan was 4 up after 27 holes.
At the 28th Perrot began her move. Perrot won the 28th and 29th
holes with birdies and reduced Duncan's lead to two holes. Perrot
won the 31st hole with a par and the margin was one. At the 34th
hole, a 402-yard par 4, Perrot sank an 8-foot putt for a par. Duncan
then made one of her few mistakes, three-putting from 35 feet, and
the match was all square.
The two stood on the tee of the 491-yard 36th hole, all square.
Perrot's third shot from 120 yards fell 18 feet short of the hole.
Duncan hit her wedge from 117 yards to within five feet.
Perrot made her curling 18-foot uphill putt for a birdie.
Now the pressure was on Duncan. She rammed the putt into the hole
to match Perrot's birdie.
The sudden death at the 143-yard par-3 37th hole, Perrot's shot
covered the flag, settling some 18 feet past the hole. Duncan gripped
down on a 7 iron and ripped a shot that nearly went into the hole.
With the match and the title on the line, both played deliberately.
Perrot stroked her putt, but her ball slid by on the left side of
the hole. Duncan rapped on her two-footer and leaped into the arms
of her father, David who was her caddie.