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Meredith Duncan

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.

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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