Dickerson Wins Amateur With Last Hole Birdie


USGABubba Dickerson made a dramatic birdie on the 36th hole Sunday to defeat Robert Hamilton 1-up and win the 101st U.S. Amateur Championship at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga.
Dickerson, a 20-year-old junior from the University of Florida, canned the 15-foot putt at the 235-yard par-3 hole, and then celebrated with his father, who stormed the green following the match.
Free Video - Registration Required Bubba Dickerson on winning the U.S. Amateur
'Everyone has worked with me on being smarter on the harder holes,' exclaimed an emotional Dickerson, peering down at the Havemeyer Trophy. 'Usually, you're not going to lose a hard hole with par.'
Dickersons heroics came in a match which seemed to destined from the start to go the other way.
Through the first 14 holes at East Lake Sunday, Hamilton had run the tables on the Gator standout, and stood 5-up for the match.
Yet Dickerson plugged back, and by the end of the first 18 holes, he had narrowed the deficit to just a single shot.
Things went back and forth through the second 18 holes, and play was suspended for a time due to inclement weather in the area.
When the players finally reached the difficult finishing hole, the match was A/S.
'I told my caddie, 'This is it. If I can hit a good shot here, I can really put some pressure on him,'' Dickerson said, remembering standing on the tee box of the long hole.
'I was debating on what club to hit and I liked short better than long, so I went with a hard 4 (iron) and just dead ripped it. I couldn't have hit it any better.'
Hamiltons, on the other hand, could have been much better.
The 23-year-old from Carmichael, Calif. put his tee shot into a bunker, and then needed two more shots just to get his ball on the green.
By that time the damage was done, and Dickersons birdie roll was just for show.
'Going to 18, I still felt pretty good,' said a humbled Hamilton following the match. 'I still had a chance to win. At the end of the day, that's all you can ask for.'
All was not lost for Hamilton, however, as he will be going to The Masters in 2002.
Dickerson will not only be invited there, but also to next years U.S. Open and British Open.
Said the champion: It was definitely my goal to get my name on that trophy. Ive thought about it my whole life, not just this week.
Final Results from Sunday's Championship Match:
Bubba Dickerson (141) def. Robert Hamilton (141), 1-up.