Francis Wins Junior Amateur


USGARANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. -- Philip Francis defeated Richard Lee, 3 and 2 on Saturday to capture the U.S. Junior Amateur at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.
'It's great. I think there are 3,600 applicants for this tournament and to be No. 1 out of all those. It feels awesome for sure. It's a real big accomplishment. This is definitely the most prestigious event I have won so far.'
Francis captured the Rolex Tournament of Champions and the Thunderbird Invitational, which are both majors on the American Junior Golf Association circuit.
Francis took control of the 36-hole match at the par-5 fourth, which he won with birdie. He won the next par-5, the eighth, then holed out a wedge from the fairway for an eagle and a win at the ninth.
His lead in the morning 18 reached four, but Lee clawed back with wins at the 16th and 18th holes.
Francis, armed with a 2-up lead, won the 21st hole and 24th hole to reclaim his 4-up advantage. At the par-3 seventh hole, the 25th of the match, Francis knocked his tee ball to 2 feet, but missed the putt.
Lee once again fought to get back into the match. He won the 28th hole with a birdie, but Francis captured the 31st hole to go 4-up with only five holes to play.
Lee took the 32nd hole with par to cut his deficit to 3-down, but on the 34th hole, Francis drained a 9-foot birdie putt to secure the title.
'I went into this with a lot of momentum coming off of the Rolex and knowing that if I won it, to win the Rolex Tournament of Champions and this, not many juniors have ever done that really before,' said Francis. 'So I knew that it would be fun and pretty special.'
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