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Silvia Cavalleri

Silvia Cavalleri, 24, of Milano, Italy, defeated Robin Burke of Houston, Texas, 5 and 4, to win the 1997 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at the 6,130-yard, par-73 Brae Burn Country Club in Newton, Mass.

Cavalleri was 5 up after the first 18 holes on the strength of sharp iron play and superb putting, while Burke, the wife of 1956 Masters champion Jack Burke Jr., struggled on the greens.

Cavalleri, whose mother Victoria caddied for her throughout the championship, gained the 5-up lead with a four-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole, a 10-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole, and a six-foot birdie at the 15th.

"I was pretty relaxed at that time," said Cavalleri, "but my mother reminded me that the match was not over."

After the lunch break, Burke changed her grip and reeled off a string of birdies on the opening holes of the afternoon round.

Burke won the 21st hole with a two-foot birdie putt, the 22nd hole with an eight-foot-birdie putt, and the 24th hole from five feet to narrow Cavalleri's margin to 2 up.

But Cavalleri won the 27th hole with a par when Burke three-putted from 35 feet, then holed a curling 38-foot chip shot on the 28th hole to regain a 4-up lead.

"I felt pretty good," said Burke. "I felt like I had a chance until I bogeyed the 27th hole. That hole hurt me the most."

Cavalleri birdied the 30th with a 10-foot putt to go 5 up with six holes remaining in the 36-hole match.

On the par-5 31st hole, Cavalleri hooked her second shot behind some shrubbery, but was given relief by a USGA Rules Official when her ball rolled onto a drain. When Cavalleri hit the green with her third shot and matched Burke's par, she was dormie.

A sudden thunderstorm caused a 90-minute suspension of play after Burke and Cavalleri had hit their second shots on the par-5 32nd hole. When play resumed, both players parred the hole, giving Cavalleri the victory.

"Silvia never let up," said Burke. "She played great. She made a lot of long putts for pars, as well as for birdies. She did what she had to do."

Asked how she would celebrate, Cavalleri said, "In Italy, because I am too tired to celebrate now."

Championship Facts

U.S. Women's Amateur

HISTORY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of the United States Golf Association’s original three championships. It was first conducted in 1895, shortly after the inaugural U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. The Women’s Amateur has since been conducted every year except 1917-18, when it was temporarily suspended because of World War I, and 1942-45, when it was suspended because of World War II.

PAR & YARDAGE: Yardage for the Eugene Country Club will be set at 6,484 (stroke play) / 6,516 (match play) yards, par 72.

ARCHITECT: Opened in 1926, the course was designed by H. Chandler Egan. In 1967, Robert Trent Jones Sr. reversed the routing of the original Egan design (i.e., No. 18 tee essentially became the first tee, etc.).

Fairways – Cut to ˝ inch
Tees and collars of greens – Cut to 3/8 inch
Putting greens – Prepared to be firm and fast to measure approximately 11 to 11 1/2 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter
Intermediate rough – Cut to 1 ˝ inches, approximately 6 feet wide along fairways
Primary rough – Cut to 2 ˝ to 3 inches
Player courtesy walks – Cut to 1 ˝ inches, approximately 6 feet wide
The championship setup results in a USGA Course Rating™ of 78.1 and a Slope Rating® of 144

FORMAT: The Women’s Amateur is conducted with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying. The low 64 scorers then advance to match play, with the champion determined by a 36-hole match-play final.

WHO CAN ENTER: The championship is open to female amateurs who have USGA handicap indexes not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: Entries for the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur closed on June 18. There were 960 entries received for the 2008 championship, just shy of the record 969 entries received for the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur.



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