After a five-day marathon that included 36-hole days Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Austin Greaser emerged as the Western Amateur champion, 1 up, over Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira.
Greaser has played a lot of golf the past two summers at the Western, falling in last year’s semifinals to eventual champion Michael Thorbjornsen. This time, there was no denying the Tar Heel.
Fernandez de Oliveira got off to a hot start, going 2 up through three holes after holing out from a greenside bunker at the third.
The Razorback was still 2 up through 11, but that’s when everything started going Greaser’s way.
Greaser won four consecutive holes, starting with a long birdie putt that found the cup from just off the back of the green at the 12th.
Another birdie putt dropped at the 13th, then Fernandez de Oliveira conceded birdie putts to Greaser at the 14th and 15th holes after getting himself into trouble.
After halving the 16th with pars, both players hit approach shots inside 10 feet at the par-4 17th.
Greaser was just outside Fernandez de Oliveira, giving himself a putt of just more than five feet to win the match. The putt caught the lip, but wouldn't fall, and Fernandez de Oliveira capitalized to send the match to the 18th.
Both players found the fairway at the 18th, but after Fernandez de Oliveira hit his approach inside 12 feet, Greaser went long of the green and saw his ball nestle into deep rough. He then hit a brilliant chip, leaving himself just a few feet for par, which left Fernandez de Oliveira needing to hole his birdie putt to extend the match.
The putt didn't fall for the Razorback, and Greaser cleaned up for his par to capture the 120th Western Amateur.