U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR
Championship Match All Square After Morning 18
July 23, 2016 | Ooltewah, Tenn.
By Brian DePasquale, USGA
Min Woo Lee, 17, of Australia, and Noah Goodwin, 16, of Corinth, Texas, were all square after the morning 18 holes of the scheduled 36-hole final in the 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at The Honors Course. The afternoon round begins at 12:10 p.m. EDT.
Lee, the No. 3 seed who won last year’s Western Australia Amateur, sank a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th after hitting a 152-yard 8-iron into the green. Lee, whose sister Minjee Lee won the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior and owns two LPGA Tour victories, had erased Goodwin’s 2-up lead after the outward nine of the par-72, 7,326-yard Pete Dye layout.
Goodwin, who reached the Round of 16 in last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur and qualified for match play in the 2015 U.S. Amateur, built a two-hole advantage by winning the seventh and eighth holes. He converted a 2½-footer for par after Lee three-putted from 45 feet. Goodwin, who is attempting to become the seventh different Texan since 1999 to win the U.S. Junior, poured in a 10-foot birdie putt on the next hole.
Notable Texans to win during that span include two-time champion Jordan Spieth (2009 and 2011), who won the 2015 U.S. Open, and PGA Tour winner Hunter Mahan.
Lee, who won the 2013 and 2014 Western Australia Junior, regrouped by winning holes 10 and 11. He was conceded a par putt after Goodwin three-putted for a bogey to begin the inward nine. Goodwin found trouble again when he went over the green with his third shot on the par-5 11th and he conceded Lee’s 5-foot birdie attempt.
The finalists halved the next four holes before Goodwin went back ahead on No. 15 with a 3-foot par putt. Lee, who is No. 131 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, fired a 210-yard 5-iron to within 6 feet to set up a birdie and win the par-3 16th. Goodwin took the lead again when he nearly holed his third shot with a 58-degree wedge on the par-5 17th.
Goodwin, No. 35 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, reached the championship match by edging John Pak, 17, of Scotch Plains, N.J., in 20 holes in the semifinals. Lee, who is competing in his first USGA championship, posted a 1-up semifinal victory against Eugene Hong, 16, of Sanford, Fla., the No. 2 seed. He is No. 131 in the WAGR.
The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Brian DePasquale is the USGA’s manager of championship communications. Email him at email@example.com.